Paul Avgerinos,
Phos Hilaron
(Round Sky, 2005)

After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and being the principal bass player for numerous symphonies around the world, Paul Avgerinos decided to follow his love of composing and new age music. He moved to Connecticut and built a studio out among the wildlife and has since released several albums of his own music and worked with other musicians.

Avgerinos returns once again to his Greek ancestry for Phos Hilaron. The words are taken from the title of a second-century hymn meaning "gracious blessed gladdening light." The hymn is sometimes referred to as the lamp-lighting hymn.

Phos Hilaron is a collection of 10 hymns created before Columbus crossed the seas to touch the New World. Some were written when Christianity was little more than a thorn in the side of the great Roman Empire.

These ancient hymns are combined with modern new age music for a sound that is far from the church. Like the Gregorian chants styling of Enigma, Avgerinos shows the beautiful harmonies and writings of music used in the early days of the church still have a place in music today. The ancient hymns found on Phos Hilaron can be found in hymnals used in churches today.

Crossing and mixing musical genres is nothing new in the world of music, but it is rare to find two very diverse musical styles that fit together as well as Avgerinos has done here.

by Sherrill Fulghum
21 April 2007

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