You started chanting and performing at a young age. What inspired you to dedicate yourself to this scared art?
I grew up early on with this special kind of music, so it very much became part of my life. I also had the blessing to know during my childhood a contemporary saint, Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite, and with his encouragement I started my studies in Byzantine Music.
Indeed! Byzantine music is a life-long learning experience – as well as any kind of the "real" music – and takes much study and practice to understand and be executed correctly. This kind of music has many special features that make it unique. There’s much to say about it, but for the sake of summarising, I’ll give a small sample of the huge variety of musical specificities in Byzantine chant.
You’ve toured all over Europe, what do non-Orthodox people think of Byzantine chant? Is it becoming popular?
European people welcome Byzantine chanting with great interest and an honest desire to learn! I have some really great memories from my tours all over the Europe. However, I don't think that it has been turned into a popular kind of music. Besides, popularity never was the purpose of this art.
Do you think Byzantine chant can be incorporated into secular music?
In a musicological way, it could be, but in that case we cannot speak about Byzantine music. It's just about a kind of an arrangement.
In your first recordings of chanting you accompanied Saint Porphyrios – what was it like to work with him and what wisdom did this great saint pass on to you?
Saint Porphyrios is the most important person in my life. I learned ecclesiastical music thanks to him, but foremost…I met a Saint of God in life. I grew up next to him, from a very early age, with my family. I remember Saint Porphyrios as the man of love. He had the experience of the Holy Spirit within his heart in his life. We thank the Lord for giving us such a great gift in our times... He always stressed that Christianity is freedom. He pressured no-one and he wanted whoever came to him to do it out of their own free will.
It's the first part of my new big project, Byzantine Ecclesiastical: Hymns and Traditional Songs to the Mother of God! It's really something special because the total project comprises of more than 40 Byzantine Ecclesiastical Hymns and about 30 traditional songs with reference to the Mother of God which makes it unique and the first complete musical work of collected hymns and songs of the Virgin Mary from all over Greece.
When will the first album be released?
It's is going to be released in a few weeks, by the Radio Stations of the Church of Greece.
What’s your next project?
What advice can you give to other young women who want to chant?