Stelios Manousakis (Crete, Greece) is a composer, performer, sound artist and researcher. In these capacities he strives to develop a new musical and artistic language that is both visceral and cerebral; that communicates in a purely cognitive and experiential level while being complex and multilayered.
Stelios operates in the convergence zones between art, science and engineering, composition, performance and installation, the rich tradition of Western art music and ‘digital folk’ idioms. Most of his work is deeply concerned with the unearthing of rich, complex and organic worlds that can emerge through iterative processes. In the core of his artistic philosophy lays the notion that powerful music and time-based art pieces in general can be conceived and designed as growing organisms or emergent ecosystems, and that they can be algorithmically or systematically modeled as complex dynamical systems with dynamic structure that develops over time. To this extent, he applies complexity science, cybernetic and biology-inspired models in software that he develops to generate novel musical systems, cybernetic instruments, non-standard sound synthesis methods and interaction platforms, often merging algorithmic finesse with the expressivity of improvisation and the immediacy of audience participation. This approach extends from fixed medium pieces, to live electronic or electro-instrumental open compositions, to interactive multimedia and sound art installations.
Besides his solo work, Stelios is co-founder of the electro-instrumental ensembles Computer Aided Breathing, SelectInput and the multimedia groups Hecate and the - defunct - Breakcore Tapdance Collective. He also collaborates frequently with vocalist and performance artist Stephanie Pan in a variety of projects. His work has been shown in Europe and the United States.
Stelios grew up in Chania, Crete, where he studied accordion, piano and music theory; he later moved to Athens to study at the National University of Athens. After receiving a BA in Linguistics and graduating with honors from the conservatory in Advanced Music Theory as a student of Giorgos Fitsioris, he moved to the Netherlands, joining the Institute of Sonology at The Royal Conservatory, The Hague. There he studied with Paul Berg, Konrad Boehmer, Joel Ryan and Kees Tazelaar, among others, graduating with a Master's Degree in Sonology (thesis subject: Musical L-systems). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) in the University of Washington, where he studies with Richard Karpen, Juan Pampin and James Coupe.