The Story Of A “Sun Voyager” – Interview With Manos Milonakis!

by | indieBerlin





Indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.

Manos Milonakis: I am a classical trained pianist, who quit his music school right before his diploma exams, to start collecting, learning and occassionally constructing new instruments. I’ve been also a bassist at post-rock bands, but what really expanded my composition, production and multi-instrumental skills was my former project, the cinematic-folk duet “Your Hand in Mine”.

Indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Manos Milonakis: I’m not a big fan of the word “inspiration”, to be honest. I think the triggering of a creative process has more to do with things like just being in the mood to do something, being physically relaxed, or maybe being happy about something irrelevant! -I’ve written my saddest themes while being happy- Then, your mind just starts working “better” and you give better results at pretty much everything you do. Could be cooking, dancing etc… But, there’s no recipe for that! You can just raise your chances.

Indieberlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.

Manos Milonakis: I’m losing hair and nobody believes me (!)

Indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?

Manos Milonakis: Stavros Gasparatos, “The Expanded Piano” presentation.

Indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?

Manos Milonakis: Not as bad (and snobby) as I used to! I’ve just made 3 covers of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” for a theatrical play. After all, it can be a very fun process.

Indieberlin: Do you dream in colour or black and white?

Manos Milonakis: Colour, but I’m not sure. I wish I could remember my dreams.

Indieberlin: If you had to describe your music in three words , what would they be ?

[aesop_quote type=”block” background=”#fffff” text=”#010000″ align=”left” size=”1″ quote=”Personal, instrumental, cinematic.” parallax=”off” direction=”left”]

Indieberlin: Which artist would you like to share the stage times?

Manos Milonakis: I’d like to share the stage with Federico Albanese.

Indieberlin: What do you prefer: Large festival stages or smaller
club concerts?

Manos Milonakis: I’ll go for the smaller club concerts. Festival stages are big and great, large audiences can be reached etc, but in smaller spaces there’s an intimacy I really enjoy. There are more chances to communicate your message clearlier and to possibly contribute to a stronger experience.

Indieberlin: Who is your favourite Superhero and why?

Manos Milonakis: Ironman is my newest favourite. I really enjoy watching R.D.Jr. playing kind of “himself” in the movies. And I appreciate his foolish trust in technology!

Indieberlin: You are from Thessaloniki, Greece. What is so special about this city and where do you think we should go to?

Manos Milonakis: Thessaloniki is a potentially good place to live. You can’t beat the great food, the open people, the relaxed atmosphere and, of course, the gorgeous beaches nearby. The city’s music scene is one of the most famous in Greece. Lots of great artists and bands emerged here, especially during the 80-90s. A visitor should denately walk along the newly designed waterfront and maybe go a bit up the hill, to enjoy the mt. Olympus’ view from “Ano Poli”, the district inside the old fortication walls.

Indieberlin: The Autumn is coming soon, what are you looking forward to do with your friends?

Manos Milonakis: I’m looking forward to travel as much as I can before it gets cold. Partly because I haven’t had much vacation this year. I always dreamt of roadtripping across Italy with friends.

Indieberlin: You are moving to Berlin at the moment. Have you ever been to Berlin before and do you like it here? Any chance of a concert in the near future?

Manos Milonakis: I’ve been in Berlin 4 times, the fourth was just a week ago… so you bet I like it. Yes, I’d love to play here soon. But there are projects and work to finish before I start gigging again with new material. Feel free to check my website for updates regarding that!

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Odi et amo
I first met Johannsson´ s music about 15 years ago, but I was never really ready to dive in, until some months ago, when i rediscovered “Englabörn” and was blown away! Like a strange sense of nostalgia for something I haven´t yet lived. “Odi et amo” is a great opening track!

Julien Marchal – Insight XX
Julien Marchal makes this delicate felt piano music which grabs your attention from anything else. Sorry, but this is getting dangerous! A.k.a. how to burn your food or lose your bus stop. Insight XX is among the most simple but powerful tracks I´ve heard in a while.

Ólafur Arnalds – Particles
Olafur´s innovative projects and collaborations, apart from beautiful, are just so important for keeping the classical genre still vibrant and relevant in 2016. This song was recorded in a lighthouse in SW Iceland during a collaborative video series with local artists (here with Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir on vocals). Always wondering what he will come up with next!

Lambert – As Ballad
I´ve been following Lambert´s uploads on Souncloud and Youtube for some time now. Apart from the impressive videos and the catchy anonymity concept, there´s an incredibly talented pianist behind that mask! My personal favourite, “As Ballad”, is track no.2 from his album “Stay in the dark”.

Douglas Dare – Doublethink
Douglas Dare defined the soundtrack inside my car almost for the entire 2014. Really looking forward to his next release in a few days. Doublethink is one of the pre release teaser tracks.

Wild Beasts – Nature Boy
This is a personal favourite from the era I used to dj at a local restaurant. I think the whole “Present Tense” album is sounding delicious itself. Actually, every track of theirs feels like a music production seminar!

Radiohead – Present Tense
Hmm, now there´s a remarkable obsession with â present tense going on in this playlist. Plus, I wouldn’t miss the chance to include a Radiohead song, as in every mixtape i do. It became sort of a ritual already.

Yann Tiersen – Porz Goret
Since this playlist is all about piano and obsessions, I can´ t help it but to conclude with a track from a man that´s also been a huge influence, especially during the “Your Hand in Mine” years. Exciting times when we toured together, supporting some of his concerts back in the days. Track 4 from his latest album, “EUSA”.

Thank you Manos! Ευχαριστώ πολύ!

Manos Milonakis – composer.


Photo by Dafni Melidou
Interview by Norman Zielasko

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