studio19 basiclogo  Athens / sound & multimedia team

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[ Ελληνικά - (gr) ]




The members of the team studied music from 1979 till 1988.


Vasilis Kountouris studied piano and theoretics at the National Conservatory. At the same time he attended classes on a course for software programming on mainframe computer systems for two years. During the period 1983-1985 he worked on applications in teaching music and synthesis by developing music software for the first PCs [*1].


Costas Bokos studied jazz guitar and theoretics at Eoliki School, while at the same time he attended classes on economics. During the period 1981-1984 he played music with different groups experimenting on the sound of the electric guitar by using electronic equipment for the creation of new sound materials and innovative ways of performing them.


In the years 1986-1987 both members of the team attended classes at the Athenaeum Conservatory with Stefanos Vassiliadis in the field of electroacoustic music and synthesis, as well as seminars on sound and music at the Center for Contemporary Music Research. They also worked on a sound – music synthesis system based on computer (U.P.I.C) by Iannis Xenakis.


studio19st - team formation. 

The team (Vasilis K. Kountouris & Costas I. Bokos) was formed in 1985 and at the same year constructed their first working space (a small laboratory-studio). They worked for nine years till 1994 for the creation of infrastructure, which took six years of study on sound synthesis and music, using as a basic axis the use of technology and three years for the design, organization and construction of a second working space that was later called “studio19”. The team was self-financed and funding came from activities parallel but irrelevant to the art field.



Period A : 1985 - 1990. 

The study of the team was not confined to the typical use of music technology but to a more general treatment of sound synthesis in an abstract way, as a stimuli-object in relation to the sense of hearing, which is based on the general laws of emotion (Adjustment-Weber-Mueller). At the same period they studied the general theories of mathematics, physics and the theory of acoustics on the basic axis of work of H.Helmholtz. “On the Sensations of Tone” as well as psychology of music (Psychoacoustics) and techniques of electronic music. In this first period the team simultaneously applied its studies by creating a series of experimental syntheses called “trials”. The study and the process of the implementation of “trials” were methodical based on a six-year program.



Period B : 1990 - 1993. 

In August 1990 the study for the construction of a new bigger working space-studio began. The design of the studio took nine months and its construction two years. All works were exclusively conducted and carried out by studio19 team, as they considered that the special study and construction of such a working space-studio for sound is 100% a creative process. The Study [*2] concerning specifications, design of acoustics and sound isolation, electric-electronic installation and new technologies was also conducted and carried out by the team and is described in detail. It is used as a model, which is also a point of reference and development for the activities and for proposals in the sound and music field. At the same period, parallel, support works and studies were carried out for a better implementation of the whole plan, as for the development of new specialized software [*3] - (Software for the study of acoustics and sound isolation). Additional studies were also carried out for high technology sound installations.



Results-conclusions of A & B Periods:

The activities of the first two periods were based on studies ("trials") and research, which had as a result, the awareness that a sound studio with all its equipment can be used as a special "music instrument tool". This instrument is based on the storage of sound and on its reproduction at free will, thus releasing the presence of the cause of sound production. This way we can transfer sounds anywhere, combine them with other elements and create new sound fields, which up till their creation was not possible. Immediate result: free and better analogy of expression in relation to creative imagination. One of the most important technical elements that we became aware of, mainly from “trials”, was "the connectivity" of equipment that proved to be the most essential element in all applications. For the creative integration of this element in the process of sound and music synthesis, the most essential prerequisite was sound design that would include the creation of sound models through connectivity and this is ione of the most interesting synthetic tools that new technology offers. The basic conclusion of this period is that in order for the sound design to be meaningful it should:


               1st -  be subjected to the restrictions which are defined by the knowledge

                        one has for sound and...


               2nd - focus on knowledge and experience on the function of sound and

                        not on knowledge and experience on the function of equipment

                        (equipment-music instruments-music software).



In May 1993 the construction of the studio was finished and the team began to use it on an experimental basis. After a year in the summer of 1994, the team started using the studio creatively in collaboration with third parties.



Period C : 1994 - 1999.

Making a new start, new "directions-orientation". In the beginning of 1994, the sound team worked on an experimental basis in the new studio. The orientation of activities for the creative use of the studio with the aid of technology and its implementation of knowledge gained up to that point had a double purpose:


             1st -  The capability to perform good quality production for recording, mixing and   

                       design of sound and music materials for different applications such as for

                       performances, the music industry, multi-media, sound installations, for their

                       own works or in collaboration with third parties.


              2nd - The capability to achieve synthesis and sound processing of high quality,

                        so that with a continuous evolvement of activities new ways

                        of creative process are established.


In practice this is the period where the abilities of the team and their working space are tested. The results are evaluated and registered in relation to the specifications of the study set for the construction of the working space studio by the team. The rate of verification of the expected results was high and had as result the need for a better way of registering the vast mass of new information, which had come into light through the activities of the last two-three years.


The team is getting prepared and designs the future movements that must take place in order to deal with consistency in respect to the new emerging challenges. A new basic axis of infrastructure work is created based on a series of databases, as the new information acquired would soon be converted into a valuable tool. The design and construction of databases was implemented into two basic platforms (Apple Macintosh OSX and Pc Windows OS compatible) In some of these databases original sound and music materials are registered [*4].




In the summer 1994 a series of co-operations started with the following composers: G. Koumedakis, D.Kamarotos. N. Kypourgos, T. Abazis, N.Xydakis etc. for the production of sound materials for performances of plays and dance companies such as: The National Theater, The National Theater of Northern Greece, The Theater of the South, Theater Ebros, Theater Sfendoni, Edafos Dance Company, Dance Company Octana, Dance Company Analia etc.


The team started applying the first results from the research of previous years (1985-1993) and started using the infrastructure (technical and creational) by suggesting new ways of working which had as a result a more essential and creative treatment of sound and music in productions. The team managed to combine ongoing research with their works through all that period and collected, classified, registered and filed in a special filing and evaluation system designed by them a great number of data. Thus, there was continuous evolvement and enhancement of the infrastructure, which in combination with the experience created a new type of awareness for mix, synthesis and “special use” of materials. The sound team uses the results of this effort as a basic instrument for creativity.


One of the main activities of the team is keeping up to date with their objects.



Activities are of two kinds:


    1st) The first one is keeping up to date internationally with the advances of technology at a   

            hardware (equipment) and software level. This is done through printed material    

            (technical books, magazines), trips (at international exhibitions etc) new media and

            software through P/C (special database “Atlantis”), internet of course and has proved   

            most fruitful as it offered the chance to use new technologies at the proper time  

            having as a main axis :


           [ (cost/return) / (new equipment using mode absorption) ]


           This way the limited funds (as the team was at that point self-funded) were exploited in  

           the best possible way. However, the most basic element of this activity was that

           independence was achieved in such a difficult field (sound production & art generaly),  

           which is also directly related with maintaining it in the course of time, which in its turn is

           an absolutely necessary prerequisite for the essential, non-hindered by expediencies

           from third parties, creation and production.



    2nd) The second activity is keeping up to date internationally with the music scene per se

             through the angle of new data, set by the new practices in art and technology.

             An organized approach is used for a better understanding of the reality.


Another important element for the activities of this period was that due to their parallel jobs in other fields “time was tight” for the activities of the team. The continuous and persistent effort, the endurance and the unity of the team all these years, as there were no personal obligations towards themselves or other parties created a clear and dynamic working profile. The profile was mainly characterized by a balance in terms of efficiency and contribution between the members of the team that created stability irrespective of the side activities. At this time the team started using the anonymous and common name “studio19” for their activities (which is the number of the street the studio is located, 19 Diagora Str.)  and not their real names , as they adopted the “theory of obscurity*”…




Period D : 1999 - 2009.

New aims: In May 1999 the members of the team considered that the conditions were right and left there parallel but irrelevant jobs in order to work exclusively at studio19. From 2000 and onwards a new period starts for the sound & multimedia team, which continues to use all the good elements of the last fifteen years, while a new action line of thinking and aims are set. The studio is upgraded and extended in June 2000 [7*]. The basic axis of this upgrading was the creative involvement with other means such as: digital video and photography, plastic arts, mixed performances, software and PCs. The synthesis and the combination of these means of sound is a new field of interest with special specifications, upon which the team oriented itself with the new design.



Period E : 2010 - .

From 2010 the team is fully involved in multimedia production. The studio is upgraded again in June 2011....

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