Elena Kakaliagou

Elena Kakaliagou is a Greek-Austrian french-horn player, based in Berlin since 2010. Elena´s field of specialization is contemporary and free improvised music. Her work can be heard in interdisciplinary projects and sight-specific events. Elena is member of the ensembles Zinc&Copper, zeitkratzer, Nabelóse, and plays often as a guest in various new-music ensembles around Europe.

Kakaliagou was part of our Der große Gesang (Canto General) at Pablo Neruda library on Saturday, November 6th 2021. Read here her statement about the piece Voy a vivir.

„Voy a vivir“, a title, a statement. Pablo Neruda calls for the right to live, to fight, to love. His poetry crosses borders, nations and times and arrives translated in various languages all around the globe. Even if his „Canto General“ is already more than 70 years old, the poems stay absolutely well- timed. Written shortly after the 2nd world war his appeal for justice addresses all centuries and forms of oppression. He speaks from the mouth of the indigenous of south and central America, the population of countries under military and financial coups, from the side of anybody under the oppression of a system.

I was born in Greece in 1979; the end of a decade full of coups and the uprising feeling of power of the people. In 1974 and after 7 years, the greek dictatorship is over, but the atrocities of Pinochet ́s coup started in 1973, are known all around the world. The spirit of revolution and the emotional connection to the people of Chile is strong among Greeks; Mikis Theodorakis composes one of his main oeuvre based on Neruda ́s “Canto General”. In 2019 the “autumn revolution” starts of Chile and again the people are on the streets with enormous emotional and physical stamina and fight for their right for a decent life.

When I got invited to “translate” into music one of Neruda ́s poems I hesitated; I felt the responsibility too big for my shoulders. On a second thought I ́ve decided to do it and to connect it with all the thoughts mentioned above. I ́ve decided to invite my Chilean friend Matias Guerra and his mother Marisol Barbara Herreros Urritia to read the poems for me; Their life was decisively changed by the coup of 1973. I thank them very much for giving me their voice and the sound of „chileano“ accent. No poetry can be detached from the sound of the language and every sound and music is global and international. This is the power of music and art, on this I bow. With this thoughts and way to aproach I am dedicating this music to Matias. — Elena Kakaliagou


1. Reality depends on context and point of view.

2. Please, reanimate fun :-)

3. “Tanz den Untergang mit mir” _graffitti on the S-Wedding wall.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?


2. How and when did you get into making music?

When I was 5.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

I dont have top 5 in any level, i can¥t rank in music I love.

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

I use to associate space with it. Now it is in transition again..

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

The garden of Villa Kuriosum.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

Look at the sea

7. What was the last record/music you bought?

Jannis Kyriakides “Subvoice”

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Fffffffffff difficult question..

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

My most recent best gig as musician was with Zinc& Copper in Speicher V this summer. As spectator, an evening of the presentation of Schrattenberg residencies in the austrian mountains.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

I try to keep it as little as possible.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

My brother makes my website:-)


Photo: Elena Kakaliagou at Canto General © Roland Owsnitzki