Reviewer 1’s Comments
Relevance to symposium theme
A clear written statement about the deductive intentions of the Greek-Afro-American synthesis of modes, harmony and rhythm set the context effectively, and this allows the listeners to engage with the aesthetic hypotheses here.
How well the piece works
Musically, this is more effective in what can be perceived as the 9/4 chorus sections where the Greek modes and blues scales interact over the Rebetiko rhythm. Seen as a work in progress, this has huge potential and some of the syntheses are inspiring. Where it could be developed further is perhaps in the choice of timbres as an additional layer supporting the deductive intention (and sonic authenticity arguments): some of the electric guitar amp (and, indeed, the bouzouki tone) and modulation choices bring the aesthetic closer to a 1980s jazz-fusion flavour, than Afro-American blues – and if indeed this is the intention, this can also be clarified in the written statement.
Reviewer 2’s Comments
The video (static single frame visuals with audio) under review followed a deductive model with a hypothesis that the “common ground” between Afro-American blues and Greek rebetiko can be illustrated through “experimental fusion”. I have concerns with this hypothesis, but not to a level that would warrant rejection. Where the submission does fall flat, is in the execution. Like a confession extracted under duress, the composition process can make the data fit. Most trained composers would be able to produce a “mixture of […] scales and modes, time signatures, harmonic structures and typical instruments”. A more rigorous procedure would have been to use data mining to extract the most statistically significant features from the source materials and then use that dataset to compose a resulting work algorithmically (AI can be employed, but even a simple algorithmic process would be sufficient to produce a result). Performance and analysis of the resulting work would then provide an opportunity to draw some conclusions concerning the validity of the experiment. Aside from the investigation, the composition is laudable.