Greek Cypriot sound composer Chrysoulla Markoulli set to showcase talent in new Sydney play

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Greek Cypriot sound composer, Chrysoulla Markoulli, will be sharing her musical talents on the stage as she collaborates with director, Adam Bock, on his new play Before the Meeting.

In an interview with The Greek Herald, Chrysoulla tells us how her love of music as a child turned into an unexpected career of music composition and sound design. 

Growing up learning the piano, Chrysoulla recounts going off track with her lessons and constantly making up ideas with different keys instead of practicing the pieces she was given 

Photo supplied. Credit: Estelle Yoon.

“I don’t think my tutor was very happy,” she jokes. 

The sound composer would also find herself watching movies and TV shows as a young girl and unconsciously picking up the music she heard. 

“I still remember the theme songs from the kids shows I would watch really clearly in my head,” she says.

“I was probably absorbing it and wasn’t realising it at the time.” 

This passion saw the sound composer go on to study Music and Education at the University of New South Wales. While completing her studies, Chrysoulla hired a piano and composition tutor, and this saw her transition to composition instead.

Since then, Chrysoulla has had many successes in the music industry and her latest project, Before the Meeting, is no different.

The new play is a deeply realistic examination of the cost of addiction and the effort it takes to stay clean. It takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride of painful personal history, of grief, love, recovery, and the mantras of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Before the Meeting. Photo supplied. Credit: Danielle Lyonne

Chrysoulla says her process of composition for this play and others can usually take one of two paths. The first is working with an instrument palate and the second is being inspired by everyday things even as simple as flowing water. 

The sound composer adds that while every project has many variables, working closely with her directors and observing the actors in rehearsals, helps her to produce sound that works within the realms of the genre and enhances the story telling process. 

“You’ll have a lot of conversations with your collaborators like your director, sometimes I’ll be in the rehearsal room and watch the actors bring it to life,” she explains.

Chrysoulla started listening to Greek music in high school and says that it plays a big part in her work today as she always leans into the “melodic ideas” which can be heard in Greek music. 

Photo supplied. Credit: Estelle Yoon.

“I’m always drawn more to exotic instruments. The bouzouki is my favourite instrument,” Chrysoulla says, while stressing that she also likes to expand her horizons and listen to all types of music.

“Just listening to music is what taught me to write music and it helps to listen to a variety of music… I don’t like to limit myself to a particular genre.” 

With that said, we just had to ask her what the next step for her career was and it seemed the answer was a no brainer for her.

“I’d really love to score a feature film, I think it would be really cool if it was an action film or a film based on a true story,” the composer says. 

“So silver screen is next.” 

‘Before the Meeting’ will be premiering at the Seymour centre from 19th May to 11th June and you can purchase your tickets here at the website.

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