Aimilia Papatheochari aka Emi Path is one of those exciting acts that fantastically bridge modern rock elements with classical ones. 2017’s debut ‘The Shadow’ was a stunning album spilling over with emotion & lyricism. On February 15th, catch Emi Path (w/ Collective Remembrance) live at Temple if you want to live an unforgettable experience. Meanwhile…
Welcome to Last Day Deaf Aimilia! Would you like to introduce Emi Path project to our readers then?
Hello! Thanks for having me here. Emi Path is the short version of my full name and basically it’s me and I was lucky enough to meet and work with some great musicians.
I was composing some songs having a main idea in my head for some years and I was thinking of releasing them as an album at some point. So it was about 2 years ago that I decided to work on this and record it properly. Then I met some musicians, through rehearsals I ended up with some specific persons that we are still together, recorded the album and play gigs.
Last year you released your impressive debut ‘The Shadow‘. Are you satisfied with its acceptance? Which were the main influences for this album?
First of all we should consider that everything was done by me, not only the music part but everything that a cd release demands. It is difficult and takes time to be not only a composer but also a promoter for yourself. So I would say yes! For the amount of people that have listened to the album and the discussions that followed with some of them I can say that I am satisfied.
For this album in the first place I had images in my head, which I didn’t really meant to describe them through lyrics. Probably they were there for me only as a guidance, to help my way of composing the songs. I don’t want to say more because I prefer it to be something different for each listener, to dive in it and “see” his/her own experience. Music is like life, nothing is perceived the same way from all of us.
The opener ‘Falling’ is an excellent track with some exceptional lyrics. Are these derived from personal experience?
Yes! There was a period of time some years ago when, due to a bad situation that I was into and lasted for years (felt like endless to me), I lost the sense of time, my mind felt a bit abstract, although I was active in my everyday life – studying at university, studying music, travelling etc.- inside I felt like I was two persons.
So the lyrics are random things from all this period and some are related to theatrical plays that had subjects that interested me, relating them somehow with me at that period of time.
Apart from you Aimilia, which other are contributing in the Emi Path’s project and in what way?
First of all are the musicians that we created this whole journey, we rehearsed a lot together and recorded the album – Stefanos Zakopoulos, Alessandro Giovanetto, Ilias Sdoukos, Nikolas Papachronopoulos.
After some months Ilias Padazis, bass player, came instead of Nikolas, something that was turned into a very vital communication.
Giorgos Simatos’ studio was the place where we recorded and was one of these people in this procedure that really tried to understand what I wanted and worked a lot together in order to achieve the result that I desired.
Next essential person in this is our sound engineer Dimitris Gialas, with his way of recreating the whole thing at every gig and transferring it to the audience. I am glad to have him with me.
Stella Gaspari- Kakari is a really close friend of mine and she was there at every recording capturing the moments. We had a lot of fun and the videos where really essential as she has the sense of catching the little details that could bring you a bit closer to what was happening all these days in the studio.
Last but no least, Dimitris Mantanis is a photographer and he haven’t missed a gig. He is also responsible for the cover photo of the album. You can find, also, his shots of us in our profiles. We are all happy with his job.
Reading the press review about your upcoming live appearance I am reading about influences by Erik Satie, Max Richter, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, Godspeed You! Black Emperor & Portishead. In addition, what happened when you were 9 and you first heard your cousin play the piano? Would you like to discuss about all these?
I was so impressed by the sound of the piano! I was so sure that I wanted to learn how to play! So I started having lessons and I never stopped till my 20s that I couldn’t stand the conservatory any more. It didn’t suit me. Anyway, I had already expanded my hearings so the bands that you just referred are some examples. I believe that everything starts from home as it is our first social life and there we get our first influences. So, my parents had a great vinyl collection from Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Joy Division, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Cocteau Twins, Vangelis etc. etc. to a lot of classical music! When I was at primary school it was cd’s “golden age” and my first one was a Beatles collection that my dad created for me. So growing up all these expanded and took me to different music paths. But the most important for me is that this variety that there was at home became a need to me, as I always wanted to find different hearings.
Doing my research for this interview, I found out that your occupation is music-related. Am I right? How difficult/easy is it to work for something you really love?
Yes. I am close to music in many ways, for everything may be needed every time. Also, in the past I was an assistant at organizing a cycle of concerts for a whole year for a theatre.
I would say that it is difficult to work for something that you really love because when you just dream of it, imagine how it could be and you wish to get related with it, you create ideal circumstances. But when this becomes your reality there are many more things to confront, to control, problems to solve etc. And this is exactly the moment that you face your dream and you should decide if you really want it or not.
On 15th Feb, you are going to perform live at Temple along with Collective Remembrance. What are you going to present that special night?
I will perform -full band- the whole album and also some new songs that have come to me the months after ‘The Shadow‘. Also, I have added some elements from the trio version of this work that I have played twice the previous year.
What holds the near future for Emi Path project?
Well, I cannot say specific things yet but I am composing new things that I would like to play using other instruments too. I don’t know exactly what it is going to be but these are some thoughts that have already started taking shape.
Some gigs anyway will follow, that I will announce soon!
Last but not least… What does the piano mean to you?
The piano for me is a bit out of this world as I feel it like a “place” of calmness and exploration. On the other hand there are many times that my relation with it is like a collision. Maybe I need it to be like that so after some time I can be again in peace with it. These conflicts are very creative and vital to me.
Photo credits: Dimitris Mantanis