YANNIS KYRIAKIDES – Resorts & Ruins (CD Unsounds)
Nothing more than a small footnote in the modern history of Greece, is the rise and fall of Varosha, and with that also a miniature parable of decadence. Varosha is part of the city of Famagusta, a city in the eastern part of Cyprus. This part of the city was directly situated on sandy beaches and was developing as the tourist area of the city during the early seventies, complete with luxury hotels in Technicolor. When this part of the isle got occupied in 1974 by a Turkish occupying power, the decision was made to fence off Varosha and that it should stay uninhabited. And that is still the way it is, some 40 years later. Yannis Kyriakides earliest memories also go back to this place, actually the very moment of its change of power. The 30 minutes that Varosha endures works as a vehicle to commemorate and continuously emphasizes the contrast between a frozen past and an imaginary future. Fragments of Turkish pop music get mixed in with voices and electronic soundscapes, telling stories of life as it was, and indirect as well of violence and political agitation.
The lengthy exploration representing lonesome walks through the isolated and desolated area have an alienating effect, and the magic probably becomes a little bit more alive knowing the story behind it. Four decades of minimal human intervention must have made this to a ghost town. What it also has done, is creating an interesting experiment. Of course a physical one ; how long will our footprint remain on earth after we’ve abandoned it, but also a more metaphysical one ; time stopped here in 1974, whereas the surrounding area carried on. Will everything continue if the gates of the fenced of area disappear or does time and space need to catch up in some way. Anyway, at least we can regard the initiating event responsible for this has led to an intriguing recording on the Unsounds label.
Covertures (1, 2 and 3) are fragments from a sound installation at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Drony in character and very nicely pairing up with the center piece that is Varosha. Comes with set of postcards from the past. PvdG.