The French musician Marc Euvrie (The Eye Of Time) opens his heart to Mix Grill

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The Eye Of Time is the solo project of French musician Marc Euvrie. Euvrie started playing piano as a kind and later studied cello at the conservatoire. Euvrie was involved in several bands before he began to translate his personal reflection of our complex world into music, which initiated The Eye Of Time. His extensive self titled debut has been released in spring 2012 and exposed a dark look on the present, past and future. His second full length “Acoustic” came in June 2014 with a change of focus. Looking for the motor, the personal needs to survive, he found himself experimenting with only Cello and Piano. March 2015 marks the release of The Eye of Time new album “ANTI”. Four letters taking us to the most extreme and darkest recesses, influenced by the likes of Third Eye Foundation, Portishead, Neurosis, DJ Shadow, Björk, Sigur Ros, Edvard Grieg, Sergei Rachmaninov or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Marc notes for the album: “I try to drag the listeners into hell as deep as possible so that they don't have any choice but to be beaten to the ground and to jump back into light.

But here we will not talk about "ANTI", at least not yet. Being strongly moved by a particular track of “Acoustic”, I felt that I needed to know its source of inspiration. I prepared a few questions, but soon realized that this was just an excuse to discuss about something greater.

It is my privilege to present you the first interview of Marc Euvrie in a Greek medium. He is narrating the most important story of his life, his experiences from the Greek riots in December of 2008 in Athens where he lived at that time, and the true meaning of life away from security and comfort. Click play and here we go!



Listening to your track "Exarchia, Athens, Greece, September 2008-Februar 2009" I couldn’t help but wonder about its inspiration. Can you tell us its story?

I think that this is the most important story of my life!
I was working in a teenage camp in August 2008 as a supervisor for kids. You know, I was just teaching them, having fun, making them smile. And I met that girl; she was my boss there. I remember that after the meeting about the job I was thinking: “Dude, just be careful! This is the kind of girl you can deeply fall in love with. That's not what you want right now”. You see, I was single after a long time being a couple.
Anyway; as I knew, it did happen and I just fell in love with her in that teenage camp. The problem was that she was not single. She was in a relation with a Greek guy. I discovered that she had always been in love with Greece and she was travelling there very often. After that summer, she would go to live in Greece. (You can almost see what will happen now, right?)
One thing came after another; she broke up with that guy during the camp time and my despair just turned into hope. I knew that her going to live in Greece wasn’t a sign of a together future, but anyway, that's life, and we just were together till the end of that job. And the day she would leave was coming closer. And I knew I could miss something if I let her go.

So I decided to follow her. I asked her if that was ok, even if I had never been in Greece in my entire life and I didn't speak any Greek.
She was really surprised, but it was ok. Let's try this.

Nobody knew I was going to leave. I just quitted my job in a one-week time (I was a music teacher). Some of my friends called me after I left and I had to tell them: “I have a girlfriend and I won't be able to have a drink tonight because I'm in Athens, buddy.”
Anyway, here I am, in Athens, looking for a flat together with her, and especially in Exarchia; that's what she wanted. She explained me how this quarter exactly looks like and its story. I had found the right girl. I don't remember I told her I was an anarchist. This was just perfect.
At that time, I definitely fell in love with my girlfriend, and this quarter. It was difficult to live in a different country, not understanding anything, far from my friends, in the complete unknown. But life in Athens was so amazing. I will remember that time forever as diamonds. Discovering this country, the food, the people, the Greek mentality. All this life, all this energy was a blast to my mind.

We were living near the Technical University. We were out to have a drink on the night Alexandros Grigoropoulos got shot by a cop just next to the bar we were sitting. You know what followed and I really thought a revolution was coming. I just spent the following weeks supporting the Greek people and the quarter I was living, Exarchia. The fights were literally under my window. It is too complicated to explain what I was experiencing those days, but I discovered hope, fight and freedom. And these days will be forever in my heart and my mind.

After that, as we didn't know how long we would stay (maybe forever?), my girlfriend had a very interesting job offer in France that she couldn't refuse. We moved back in France in February, as fast as we came. With so many memories under our arms, love and passion.

We're still together and we have two children.



As you mentioned, the fall of 2008 was a time of extreme tension in Greece and especially in Athens that peaked in December after the assassination of the 16-years old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a policeman. What do you remember from that time?

I remember that any time of the day would be a surprise; because we were living right in the center of those riots. I remember the sound of the police radio when I was in my flat, telling me that the fights were about to begin. Sometimes teargas was so intense that we had to move from our flat to the neighbor upstairs, because we couldn't breathe in there.  Sometimes I went down to help the neighbors to defend the quarter, but, without understanding anything, it was really strange and difficult. This time was the best experience ever for me; there was danger, but also hope and freedom. I was feeling something big would come up and I would be part of the history. I was really frustrated not being able to involve more, because of the language, and not having any activist friendship at that point. But I think I did the most I could have done. I was a mute deaf spectator and actor in this.

For all of us who lived the situation from quite close, it was certain that the causes of the blast of the society were much deeper than the discussions in TV panels were suggesting. What is your opinion? What do you think is left after so many years?

I think what happened is a legacy of the 70's and what happened in the university. Many students were shot and prosecuted by the dictatorship. After they were put down, I think, Greek people believed something like that would never happen again. They believed in the new government telling them they had to work hard to educate their children. But this was just another form of dictatorship called capitalism. So the generation of the 70's was seeing their hopes smashed down and their educated children were unemployed, even if most of them had many diplomas. A generation had been sacrificed. And the message people received when Alexandros was shot was, after all that, they finally kill our children. This shit happened in the middle of convergences of tensions inherited from the last 30 years and also with the critical situation in Exarchia. Government and police wanted to retain control of this area. I remember that, before December, every time I was returning home there were riot cops at every street, like a border to get in Exarchia. And it seems they just moved the drugs business into there to discredit Exarchia to the eyes of the Greek people. Junkies and drug dealers were present there and it was really bad. I saw things I wish I'll never see again.



A French living in Athens and experiencing 'La Haine grecque'. Is it true that life becomes more inspiring in its cruel and violent moments?

We are born in comfort and security. In the last years everything is made to be secure for us, to prevent danger, crimes. To a perfect secure world. But, in my opinion, the real problem is missing. This won't solve anything, without trying to understand the real causes of these crimes (and also crimes for whom? A crime for the government is not necessarily a crime for everyone, like stealing corporations, etc...) So, when you're in a situation where all this security and the government are absent, like a revolution period or a time of rebellion and riots, you face freedom, hope, dreams, that finally everything is possible when your eyes are coming out of the fog in which we are born. Time stops and you can finally touch what Life is… deep emotions, feelings. It's like trying to feel the grass in your hand with gloves. Nothing can happen to your hand. But the day you feel the grass without the gloves, you'll never wear gloves again, even if you've been hurt by something. We forgot what Life is. Security and comfort mean death.

There is a phrase in your facebook page that reads: "Man has been depossessed of his possibilities for adventure and experimentation that life should give him. We let mankind become obscure and extinct, because we don't take any risks." What does adventure and experimentation mean for you, both as an artist and as an individual? How easy is it really to have a 'coherent' society when each individual is searching for adventure? Which is the most characteristic example of a risk you took that lead to something beautiful and bright?

The proper answer would take an entire book. Anyway. In my life I just try to experiment all possible things. For example just by letting know what I don't know to the people I meet, so that they can teach me something, anyhow, at some point. It is not good to be too much proud; you don't learn anything. Things I don't know or mistakes I do, I just say them. So I can learn from them. I also try to avoid comfort when it's possible. For example, if sometimes I can sleep out of my house, or on a floor, or other crappy situation, this doesn’t matter. I have spent so many days in my bed during my life. It makes my bed even better then.
Also, with ideas. If someone has good arguments, why should I refuse them? And what about money? Does it make any sense to work that hard, not having time for yourself to experience life, just having some abstract objects that give you only momentary happiness?

We should have a critical eye every day on how security and comfort influence our choices. The same holds for our actual political system, a kind of pretentious democracy; as if it were an “achievement” of the society organization of humanity. But this has nothing to do with real democracy. Saying that something is an “achievement” is killing experimentation and adventure. Humanity would never have gone so far without people who disturbed, who had ideas and fought for them. If not you, then who?

The discussion ended with the wish that he will come back to Greece again soon in order to present his music.

Thank you very much, Marc, for your music and your time. But above all, for your sincerity and your truth!

* Photo credits: Denis Manceau.

The Eye Of Time

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