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Yannis Kyriakides - Composer

Yannis Kyriakides was born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1969, emigrated to Britain in 1975, and has been living in the Netherlands since 1992. He currently lives in Amsterdam with his wife and two sons. Yannis has written over a hundred compositions, comprising mostly of music theatre, multimedia and electroacoustic works for chamber groups and large ensembles. His work has been performed worldwide at many of the prominent music festivals, and by many leading contemporary music ensembles.

From a young age Kyriakides was immersed in music, learning to play the violin, piano, and singing as a chorister in the English choral tradition. He composed his first pieces at the age of eight, that were performed by his choir and school orchestra. He received a music scholarship to continue his studies at a specialised secondary school. At eighteen he travelled for a year in Greece and the Middle East, studying Eastern traditional music, and learning the Ud. He continued his education with musicology studies at the University of York and later composition with Louis Andriessen and Dick Raaijmakers at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

As a composer and sound artist, Kyriakides looks for ways of creating new forms and hybrids of media that problematize the act of listening. The question as to what music is actually communicating is a recurring theme in his work and he is often drawn to the relation between perception, emotion, and language and how that defines our experience of sound. In recent years, his work has been exploring different relations between words and music, both in concert compositions and installations, through the use of systems of encoding information into sound, synthesizing voices, and projecting text to music. The latter work has led to about 30 music text films that play on the idea of imagined or inner voice.

Kyriakides has written over a hundred and twenty compositions, comprising mostly of music theatre, multimedia, and electro-acoustic works for chamber groups and large ensembles.  His works have been performed worldwide at many prominent music festivals, and by many leading contemporary music ensembles. Frequent collaborators have included ASKO | Schoenberg Ensemble, musikFabrik, Ensemble MAE, Seattle Chamber Players, Slagwerk Den Haag, Icebreaker Ensemble, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble and Champ d’Action, as well as individual commissions for Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Kronos Quartet, Calefax Reed Quintet, Silbersee, Ergon Ensemble and many others.

His opera, ‘An Ocean of Rain‘, opened the Aldeburgh Music Festival in 2008. He has been featured composer at both Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2007 and November Music 2011. His sound installation work has been shown in places such as at MuHKA, (Antwerp), Pompidou Centre (Paris) and at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

As an electronic musician he works with the ensemble MAZE, dedicated to performing music that challenges the idea of fixed form and a fixed listening perspective. He also performs regularly as a duo with electric guitarist Andy Moor (The Ex), with whom and together with Isabelle Vigier, he founded and runs the music label, UNSOUNDS, focusing on new electronic music, sound art and improvisation. Since 2006, he has been teaching composition at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, where he also runs an analogue electronic ensemble with the students called KhZ kollektiv.

In 2000, he won the International Gaudeamus Composition prize for his composition ‘a conSPIracy cantata‘.

The CD, ‘Wordless‘, received an honorary mention in the Prix Ars Electronica 2006, and his recent CD, ‘Antichamber‘, won a 2011 French Qwartz Electronic music award.

Other prizes include the Dutch Toonzetters prize for best composition of 2010 for ‘Paramyth‘, the Willem Pijper Prize for ‘Dreams of the Blind‘, and the International Rostrum of Composers Prize 2014 for ‘Words and Song Without Words‘.

Yannis Kyriakides is represented worldwide by Donemus Publishing House. In the frame of Musicentry's collaboration with Donemus, we are responsible for granting licenses for all kinds of exploitation of his works in Greece and Cyprus and for music material rentals and sales in Greece and Cyprus.

Chamber music


[145] strands

piano, electronics


[144] unmute

3 dancers, 2 percussionists, 5 metal sheets, ‘myo’ sensors, computers


[143] val

reed quintet, electronics


[139] nightstreams



[136] elsewhere

2 pianos, 2 percussion, video, soundtrack


[134] once there was

piano, percussion, soundtrack, optional video


[132] music for barges

trombone, sound sytem, on 3 barges


[129] la mode

piano, electronics


[128] the lost border dances

double string quartet, electronics, video


[126] macguffin

electric guitar, optional video


[124] correspondance

electronic ensemble


[123] trench code

3 interactive video scores


[121] testudo

prepared contrabass, live electronics


[120] poco dolce, molto amaro

voice, viola, microtonal keyboard, coffee grinder, resonance filter (computer)


[117] oneiricon

interactive tablet score


[116] folly for louis

2 violins, contrabass


[115] toponymy

string quartet, computer


[109] music for viola

solo viola


[107] words and song without words

cello solo, sound, video


[103] beatrice and the nightingale



[102] true histories

sampled piano, live electronics


[097] hypothetical islands

reed quintet, soundtrack


[096] X

electric guitar quartet, kazoos, drum machine


[092] karaoke etudes

bass clarinet, flute, percussion, cello, piano, unspecified ensemble, soundtrack, video score


[089] circadian surveillance

percussion, live electronics, live video


[088] paramyth

violin, clarinet, piano, computer


[084] RE: mad masters

violin/electric violin, computer, video


[081] satellites

flute(s). clarinet(s), violin, cello, piano, soundtrack


[080] discophaisto

recorders, viola da gamba, harpsichord, drum machine


[076] scam spam

violin, soundtrack, video


[071] telegraphic

flute, cello, trombone, synth, bass clarinet, contrabass, telegraphic keys (3-6 players), amplification


[068] as they step into the same rivers

viola, contrabass, iPod shuffle


[061] flock

flute(or clarinet), soundtrack


[057] dog song

double-bell trumpet, computer


[052] dead cat / live cat

bass recorder, soundtrack


[051] legerdemain

piano, soundtrack


[048] bee cult



[046] atopia (hyperamplified)

alto flute, viola, vibraphone, live electronics


[042] lab fly dreams

percussion, soundtrack, video (also version for large ensemble)


[039] antichamber

string quartet, live electronics


[037] chaoids

alto sax, violin, percussion, soundtrack


[034] zeimbekiko 1918

violin, electric guitar, soundtrack (turntable)


[028] PNEuma

bassoon, cello, piano (or bassoon, piano, soundtrack)


[023] PHO

saxophone quartet


[021] hYDAtorizon

piano quintet (or piano and soundtrack)


[017] carrier wave / shifter

violin, piano


[015] zeimbekiko 1918/95

saxophone, electric guitar, contrabass, soundtrack


[013] trace

violin, piano


[011] the influencing machine

saxophone quartet, disklavier


[010] mobylette

music box


[009] trombone song



[008] piano movement



[007] folklore (cello)



[006] four maggots

viola, contrabass


[004] pocket icon

string quartet


[003] lethe

2 flutes, guitar


[002] no one's filming

violin, accordion, piano, contrabass


[001] walking under ladders

trombone, string quartet




[150] one hundred years

orchestra, voices, electronics


[148] knowing nothing

violin, politiki lyra, viola da gamba, contrabass, theorbo, zarb, semantron, myo controlled computer voices


[146] papagika

voice, baglama, 12 strings, electronics


[131] the musicians of dourgouti

violin, viola, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, piano, marimba, sound media, projected text


[125] der komponist

orchestra, computer


[118] shooting at clouds

ensemble electronics


[111] music for anemic cinema

flute, clarinet, vibraphone, piano, violin, cello, contrabass, soundtrack


[110] god good luck

piano, bass guitar, percussion, 3 table top guitars, live electronics


[099] nerve

orchestra, computer, video


[095] wavespace

ensemble (8), live electronics, soundtrack


[091] airfields (trojan light)

ensemble (15), soundtrack, video


[086] the arrest

violin, clarinet, electric guitar, contrabass, piano, marimba, soundtrack, video


[082] memoryscape

ensemble (15), soundtrack, video


[075] gershwin baby

big band


[074] bases

open instrumentation


[066] the queen is the supreme power in the realm

improv environment for large ensemble, live electronics, live video


[065] mnemonist S.

ensemble (20), soundtrack, video


[063] dreams of the blind

ensemble (9), soundtrack, video


[058] rising

wind ensemble


[055] simplex

ensemble (9), video


[049] slow wave sleep

string quartet, trombone quartet, computer


[047] et in terra

3 voices, ensemble (6)


[044] seventeen and a half

ensemble (9), soundtrack


[043] subliminal

ensemble (21), soundtrack, video


[041] tinkling

piano, ensemble (18, also version for 9)


[038] scape

wind ensemble, piano, bass guitar, soundtrack, video


[035] RHOmbos

ensemble (21), soundtrack, video


[033] tinkle spin out

ensemble (9)


[026] aivaloitiko

turkish traditional instruments, orchestra


[020] don’t buy sugar

ensemble (9), soundtrack


[019] on zeno

tenor sax, 2 electric guitars, piano, percussion, electronics


[018] inquisitor’s manual

voice, ensemble (14), soundtrack


[014] trailer

ensemble (16)


[005] blindspot

3 saxophones, electric guitar, accordion, piano, bass


Music theatre


[144] unmute

3 dancers, 2 percussionists, 5 metal sheets, ‘myo’ sensors, computers


[143] val

reed quintet, electronics


[137] decameron 2.0

collaborative work on music theatre project based on Boccaccio’s Decameron


[122] tulpmania

soprano, actors, choir, wind ensemble, accordion, contrabass, percussion, electronics


[113] lunch music

3 male voices, 3 percussionists, live electronics


[072] an ocean of rain

4 female singers, actress, violin, recorder, electric guitar, trombone, indian harmonium, contrabass, soundtrack


[054] escamotage

1 female singer, 2 male actors/percussionist, 3 electronic musicians, soundtrack


[045] the buffer zone

1 male actor/singer, cello, piano, live electronics, live video, soundtrack


[040] spinoza

1 female singer, 2 actors, percussion, harpsichord, live electronics, soundtrack




[138] face

voice, recorder(s), violin, piano, electronics (live face detection and processing), video


[130] ein schemen

harp, choir, electronics


[127] ode to man

4 female voices, electronics


[108] walls have ears

voice (mezzo), string quartet, video


[104] the world feels pressure

3 singers (soprano, alto, bass), bass clarinet, live electronics


[069] twelve songs

mezzosporano, keyboard


[056] U

8 part choir


[053] 4 quantum songs

mezzosoprano, viola, keyboard, electronics


[032] affectio

mezzosprano, harpsichord, soundtrack


[025] tetTIX

mezzosprano, drum machine (soundtrack)


[022] a conSPIracy cantata

2 female voices, piano, live electronics, soundtrack


[012] zalm / anadroom

mezzosoprano, violin, bass clarinet, piano, contrabass




[149] spectres

music for audiovisual installation


[147] order of thoughts and things

2 outdoor sound installations


[141] hearing words written

lecture, performance


[140] sleeptalk

electric guitar, electronics, video


[135] satyr drama

piano, open ensemble, video score


[133] trackers

open instrumentation, speaker installation, visual objects, lights, video projector, smoke machine


[132] music for barges

trombone, sound sytem, on 3 barges


[119] a life is a billion heartbeats

improvisation on Rebetika songs with Andy Moor (electric guitar), electronics [Album]


[114] geluidhuiden / soundskins

live radio play / hörspiel


[106] speaking tubes



[105] 8′66″ (or everything that is irrelevant)

film, soundtrack, 6 ipads


[100] machine read

video, soundtrack


[098] the 100 words

8 channel fixed media


[085] ascent

organ, fixed media


[079] folia

electric guitar (improv), live electronics


[077] play robot dream

trumpet (improv), live electronics


[073] rekveld#37

soundtrack to film


[070] junta TV

fixed media


[064] music in a foreign language

fixed media (Wave Field Synthesis)


[062] iridia

fixed media


[060] rebetika

electric guitar (improv), soundtrack, live electronics


[059] sophoclean

fixed media


[031] the polar grill

fixed media


[030] cantus firmus

fixed media


[029] seaswell

fixed media


[027] just do nothing

random CDs


[024] byrd

virginal, soundtrack


[016] woelfli songs

performer, soundtrack



[147] order of thoughts and things

[142] manual of forgetting

[135] satyr drama

[133] trackers

[112] dodona

[112] dodona

[101] norms of transposition (citizenship)

[094] covertures

[093] politicus

[090] varosha

[083] disco debris

[078] QFO

[067] paperdelic

[050] wordless

[036] strOBO



[142] manual of forgetting

[141] hearing words written

[140] sleeptalk

[131] the musicians of dourgouti

[128] the lost border dances

[126] macguffin

[124] correspondance

[123] trench code

[117] oneiricon

[111] music for anemic cinema

[110] god good luck

[108] walls have ears

[107] words and song without words

[105] 8′66″ (or everything that is irrelevant)

[102] true histories

[100] machine read

[099] nerve

[093] politicus

[092] karaoke etudes

[090] varosha

[089] circadian surveillance

[086] the arrest

[084] RE: mad masters

[082] memoryscape

[078] QFO

[076] scam spam

[066] the queen is the supreme power in the realm

[065] mnemonist S.

[063] dreams of the blind

[050] wordless

[043] subliminal

[032] affectio

6/2/2021 -  Orgelpark Concert, NL

Waveshaper played by Maze at Orgelpark.

2/4/2021 -  Rewire Festival, NL

The Order of Thoughts and Things - 2 sound installations (postponed from last year).

6&7/5/2021 - Face

Electra play Face at Kiel New Music Festival, Germany

9&10&11/6/2021 - Ada

New evening multimedia work Ada, Athens National Opera, Greece.

The Collectors

Konstantyn Napolov + Eke Simons

The Collectors cover

Once There Was is a suite of pieces based on traditional nursery rhymes. Many of these rhymes have dark and historically significant themes, yet are used to foster emotion and cultivate language. In some cases, rhymes were censored to mask the political message that lie within.

The Collectors on TRPTK



Subvoice is a collection of nine recent works by composer Yannis Kyriakides for various ensembles ranging from single instrument to large orchestra, that represent an investigation into ideas of voice and language. The music is built on traces of voices and texts that seem to speak or sing in an intimate form of dialogue, either as text that is directly encoded into music, or in traces of voice that are embedded and dissolved into the musical fabric.

Unsounds 57U

Lunch Music


Lunch Music is a set of pieces for voices, percussion and live electronics, inspired by the 1959 book Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. On this recording the virtuosity of percussionists Slagwerk Den Haag (recently heard on the recording of Michael Gordon’s Timber) and contemporary vocal specialists of Silbersee are embedded in a rich sonic environment of electronics, modulated voices, grinding pulses and hallucinatory noises.

The effect of one voice speaking through another, of mediumship and possession, is a central musical concept in the piece, and it is manifested in the way the live electronics, controlled by the percussionists, modulates the voices of the singers and the various fragments of samples heard: from the voice of Burroughs to snippets of 50s pop songs.

Unsounds 55U

Life is a Billion Heartbeats

Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor


“A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats” continues Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor's exploration and mining of the rich and mysterious terrain of Greek rebetika music from the early 20th century. In this new set of songs they have revisited similar elements but with a new approach in the combination and juxtaposition of rebetika elements with their own distinct sonic explorations. The music travels from more composed and arranged renditions of the old tunes, to completely improvised pieces that try to capture a sense of the gesture and tonalities of the source music, albeit with a contemporary edge.

Unsounds 47U

Resorts and Ruins


In “Resorts & Ruins”, a set of three recent sound works, Kyriakides deals with several themes in both a physical and narrative sense. All the pieces use source material that highlight specific vocal traditions, namely Turkish pop music, Cypriot epic song, and Baroque opera, but they also all make extensive use of other forms of speech and vocal acts. In “Varosha (Disco Debris)”, a narrating voice is our tour-guide in the ruins of the Cypriot ghost town Varosha. “The 100 Words” is made up entirely of voices synthesized with electronic sounds. Commissioned and created at the GRM studios in Paris. “Covertures” consists of walls of sound made up from frozen moments from opera convoluted with the sounds and voices of crowds.

Unsounds 33U

Narratives 1: Dreams

Dreams cover

First DVD release of music text films series that will eventually comprise about 15 pieces. “Dreams” brings together 3 pieces recorded by Ensemble MAE and ASKO : dreams of the blindthe arrest and subliminal: The Lucretian Picnic.

dreams of the blind was awarded the Willem Pijper Prijs by the Johan Wagenaar Stichting. The prize was given on December 10th 2011 at the Korzo theatre in Den Haag, as part of the Dag in de Branding.

Limited edition release of 250.

Unsounds 29U


Airfields cover

Mazagran releases CD of airfields (trojan light) from the live performance by musikFabrik made in Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam in Feb 2011. This is a 12 part suite for ensemble and electronics.

This work has been nominated for the Toonzetters Prize 2012.

Mazagran mz005.


Antichamber cover

This 2-CD set collects ten pieces by Yannis Kyriakides composed between the late-1990s and the present, spanning some thirteen years of work. It offers a view of a world that is rich both musically and conceptually. These compositions are small-scale in terms of the number of performers required, but large and imposing in sonority, idea, and emotional intensity. For want of a better term we could call them chamber music: the chamber music of a new century.

Bob Gilmore

Antichamber won a Qwartz electronic music award in 2011.

Unsounds 21U


Andy Moor + Yannis Kyriakides

Rebetika cover

Andy Moor (guitar) and Yannis Kyriakides (computer) lovingly deconstruct and reassemble their favourite rebetika music in a set of 9 pieces that encompass a wide scope of musical vision. This is an unusual and original take on the so called ‘blues’ music of the Greek diaspora of the early 20th century. Originally recorded and released as an exclusive download for Seven Things, this live set recorded in Glasgow's CCA in 2006 is a re-release on CD with two additional tracks.

Unsounds 20U


Andy Moor + Yannis Kyriakides

Folia cover

“Folia” is the third CD collaboration of Andy Moor (guitar) and Yannis Kyriakides (computer) created in 2009 and performed in numerous festivals and concerts that year. It is an epic reworking of the famous tune from the 16th and 17th centuries called “La Folia”. Fusing influences from this and South American folk music, they create a unique sound world of slowly evolving soundscapes, fluctuating beats, and rich oscillating harmonies.

Unsounds 19U

Play Robot Dream

Marco Blaauw + Yannis Kyriakides

Play Robot Dream cover

Trumpet virtuoso Marco Blaauw, known for his pioneering performances of contemporary classical music has been working with composer and sound improviser Yannis Kyriakides in numerous projects including a multi-media perfomance “co-inc”, and several projects for the ensemble musikFabrik in Cologne. “Play Robot Dream” is a set of improvisations for trumpet(s) and computer. At times playful, at times meditative, they fuse a haunting melodic tendency with a provocative mix of drum machines and analogue electronic sounds.

Unsounds 18U


Wordless cover

Electronic suite of 12 portraits based on interviews from the BBOT-BNA archives.

Recieved honorary mention in ARS electronics 2006.

Unsounds 13U

The Buffer Zone

The Buffer Zone cover

Tido Visser (voice), Marc Reichow (piano), Nikos Veliotis (cello), and Seamus Cater, Mara Tomanek, Mark Morse, Ayelet Harpaz (additional speech).

Unsounds 11U

The Thing Like Us

The Thing Like Us cover

Electronic music theatre piece based on Spinoza performed by the Veenfabriek. Ayelet Harpaz (voice) , Anne Falbourn (hpschd), Tatiana Koleva (percussion), Carola Arons and Bert Luppes (actors), directed by Paul Koek.

Unsounds 09U

Red v Green

Andy Moor + Yannis Kyriakides

Red v Green cover

Improvised duos by Andy Moor (guitar) and Yannis Kyriakides (live electronics). The opening chapter in a blossoming collaborative partnership.

Unsounds 08U

a conSPIracy cantata

a conSPIracy cantata cover

The CD features 3 works performed by Ayelet Harpaz, Stephie Buttrich and Marion von Tilzer.

Unsounds 01U


Generations cover

CD featuring works by 6 composers for the Maarten Altena Ensemble including Yannis Kyriakides' don't buy sugar/you're my sugar.

X-OR Records

Saba kar-i natik, ilahiler, Gregorian hymns

Saba Kar-i Natik cover

Turkish classical and gregorian chant performed in an eastern style by the Al Farabi Ensemble of Wouter Sweets. Kyriakides appears as an Ud player. Released on Pan Records (PAN2073) in 2001.


Movement In Music Electronic Orchestra

MIMEO cover

Collected European festival recordings made between July and November 1997 by this all-star elec(tron)ic improvising ensemble led by AMM's resident 'flat guitarist' Keith Rowe. Also featured: Mego's Christian Fennesz (sampler) and Peter 'Pita' Rehberg (computer), Gert-Jan Prins (electronics, radio), Phil Durrant (violin, electronics), Jerome Noetinger (electronics, tapes), Richard Barnett (computer, sampler), Justin Bennett (analogue synthesizer), Cor Fuhler (piano, electronics), Yannis Kyrakides (violin, electronics), and Thomas Lehn (analogue synthesizers).

Music Box

Music Box cover

32 compositions for music box by Dutch composers, including mobylette by Kyriakides.(EW 9413); Label/Year: VPRO, 1994.


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