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Clarinetist Elina Georgiou talks about musical inspirations and the digital age

Classical clarinetist Elina Georgiou chatted about her inspiration to take on the musical instrument, and being a musician in the digital age.

Elina Georgiou
Clarinetist Elina Georgiou. Photo Credit: Adam Sisler
Clarinetist Elina Georgiou. Photo Credit: Adam Sisler

Classical clarinetist Elina Georgiou chatted about her inspiration to take on the musical instrument, and being a musician in the digital age.

Inspiration to take on the clarinet

On her inspiration to take on the clarinet, she said, “Although I didn’t receive formal musical training since the age of nine, I began playing the recorder, way earlier. I remember I was really good at it ,playing songs just by listening to the melody.”

“I was in the third grade when I saw a classmate playing the clarinet. In my eyes, it was a bigger and fancier recorder,” she noted.

“So, I immediately told my dad that I want to learn that instrument and without losing any time, he  took me to our city’s, municipality band where I got my first clarinet, an Eb clarinet. The first song i ever played was ‘Deka Pallikaria”,” she elaborated.

Georgiou is drawn to the clarinet for several reasons. “First of all, I love the fact that it’s a wind instrument, and the way that it can really mimic the human voice. I find very interesting that you can manipulate the sound, and really make the instrument speak,” she said.

“The clarinet gives me freedom to express different emotions and the possibility to play different music genres,” she added.

Music and songwriting inspirations

Regarding her music and songwriting inspirations, she said, “Even though I am a classically trained musician, I always had a strong interest in the traditional sounds and in the music that the people were using in their everyday life, music for celebration, music for grief, music for every occasion.”

“What inspires me is the power that music holds and how it shapes our experiences. Classical music is without a doubt a strong influence but also what inspires massively is the sounds of Middle eastern and Mediterranean regions,” she added.

The digital age

On being a musician in the digital age, Georgiou said, “It has both advantages and challenges. On the one hand, the ease of connecting with musicians worldwide and collaborating through digital platforms is a significant benefit, as well as having access to a vast library of music at any time.”

“On the other hand, it also brings the challenge of competing with the high production standards in contemporary music, always trying to find ways to engage the audience,” she said.

“I feel because of that music lost somehow its authenticity and it keeps moving further and further away from its purity and the purpose it serves,” she added.

Future plans

On her future plans, she said, “My plans for the future, let me see, every day I come up with a different plan and project ideas.”

“Some of them are so abstract that it takes time to manifest in a way that they can be translated into something more specific, but some of my plans include the completion of my album with original compositions and the launch of a concert series presenting Greek, Cypriot and Turkish music emphasizing on the similarities than the differences,” she elaborated.

“In addition, I am learning how to play Ney, flute, and Duduk,” she added.

Advice for young and aspiring artists and instrumentalists

For young and aspiring artists and instrumentalists, she said, “My advice is to follow your heart, and of course, never stop learning. Finding a good teacher and being consistent is vital. Sometimes you must stick with your vision because this is the only thing that will keep you moving in difficult times.”

“While pursuing a career as a musician can be an emotional rollercoaster is also incredibly rewarding. Have an open mindset, be curious, be flexible and be ready because opportunities will come to you,” she said.

“As one of my teachers told me ‘Keep giving to music and be sure music will give you back”,” she added.

Greek and Cypriot heritage

Georgiou opened up about her Greek and Cypriot heritage. “I feel very lucky and  proud of my Greek and Cypriot  heritage,” she said. “The richness and diversity really played a significant role on the way I perceive music but also in the way I connect with people while i perform.”

“Greek and Cypriot music tradition is all about expressing life. It has truth and authenticity, and it serves a purpose. And these are the three most important elements I have in mind when making music,” she added.

Success

On her definition of success, Georgiou said, “My concept of success has changed over the years. If you had asked me in my early 20s, my definition would be associated with societal expectations like achievements and recognition; however, I’ve come to realize that true success isn’t about external validations.”

“Success, to me, is in finding happiness in what you do, gaining satisfaction from your work, feeling proud and connected to the results, and having them authentically represent who you are,” she explained.

Closing thoughts on her music

Georgiou remarked, “What I want people to know about my music is that although its influenced by different musical environments and the diversity I experienced during my stay in Belgium and now in New York, it remains rooted in the musical tradition of my country, Cyprus.”

“Also, it serves the purpose of connection, emphasizing similarities over differences, exploring emotions and different aspects of the human experience,” she concluded.

To learn more about clarinetist Elina Georgiou, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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