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The man behind the scenes

Pure passion drives Greek Australian producer John Koudounis

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John Koudounis with singer Cindy Gomez on location in Rhodes.

08 June 2012

Music producer, writer and musician John Koudounis, is a man used to be being the behind the scenes in the music business. He's a man driven by the pure passion of music, it's ability to tells stories and create an atmosphere unlike any other. But give him a chance and he will happily play music live, to get that adrenalin rush you can only get through a live show. Whatever the medium, as long as he's creating music - a joyous sound for all to hear - he's a happy man.
Born in Rhodes to an Australian family, Koudounis lives by the motto of "home is where your heart is". He studied in Athens, did his masters in London and spends time in various locations in Europe for his work.
"London is the arts and culture centre of Europe with a good geographical position and lots of exciting things happening all the time," explains Koudounis of why he spends so much time in the UK captial, "so making the decision to live there was easy at the time.
"After I visited Cyprus to work on the television series Eleni i Porni, moving back to Greece for a while made more sense. Despite the current economical and political situation, Greece still has the ability to inspire."
Koudounis starting in the music business as a session pianist / keyboard player in Greece and after he completed his music studies, moved to London to develop his film scoring and music composition skills. While there he met various creatives in the industry who were able to give him a head start in writing music for short films and commercials.
Working behind the scenes is great for Koudounis as "it gives [him] the opportunity to be creative doing what [he] loves most".
"You get to hang out with amazing people and get to know the real side of 'celebrities' but at the same time you can have your privacy any time you choose to. Besides, it's always nice when you meet people who know your music but didn't know you had something to do with it," he says of his producing and writing work.
His most recent project is working on the Spanish album Fuego Fatal, which he co-wrote and produced four out of five of artist Cindy Gomez's songs - the fifth track was written by Shakira and Dave Stewart. They filmed the clip to Gomez's track El Mundo in Rhodes because the song is a fun, upbeat summer song and they felt that Rhodes, with it's warm and sunny weather reflects the music through the locations.
His television work includes writing and composing the music for Cypriot television series Eleni i Porni, which Polina Christodoulos - from the Greek X-Factor - sung the title track for. He's also recently finished up work on feature film Wild and Precious with Greek Australian director Bill Mousoulis.
"It's the passion of pure creation, this is what drives me and motivates me," Koudounis says of his work. "It never gets old and every time you start writing a new song it feels so exciting which is something that a 9-5 job doesn't give you.
"You go through a whole range of emotions from intimidation and fear at the beginning to full on excitement and joy at the completion! And then you start again! It's a great pleasure to create something from its initial conception to the final product."
When asked to chose between all the different musical styles he does for his work, Koudounis is conflicted as he says he loves them all equally for all different reasons.
"Playing live you get an adrenaline rush and you feed off people's energies while you interact musically with the other musicians you happen to be playing with at the time," he starts.
"Writing and producing songs is an amazing process since it gives you the chance to create something from scratch, make all the creative choices, and take it any direction you wish.
"Of course the main difference between composing music and scoring a film is that when composing for a film, you stop thinking and communicating in musical terms and you start hearing stuff from directors such as 'let me hear some pain' or even 'can you give it more personality like the lead character?' It's more emotion-based. Your main concern is how to write the kind of music that enhances the story and the movie, not just music that would sound great on its own.
"Each of these fields is magical and this is why I choose to do all of them."
To listen to a copy of Cindy Gomez's tracks written and produced by John Koudounis visit www.cindygomez.com/music. For more information about John Koudounis, visit john-koudounis.com

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