The Complete Story of "Psycho"

More than 20 years ago, the Amateur Theatre Group of Glyfada, that I used to be a member of, asked me if I could compose the music for its upcoming production of Dario Fo's "Steal a bit Less". At the time, I was already studying animation in America, but my old, secret and buried desire of becoming a musician was stirred and awaken and I, naturally, said... "Yeah, sure!".
I had written loads of music before but... I am NOT a composer or a decent musician for that matter. My "music" was basically a bunch of simple songs that my high-school band could play and I could pretend that I am the McCartney of the band. Regular teenager stuff.
But another guy from my high-shool band Chris Maragoudakis, still a very good friend of mine, by then he had become a professional musician and composer and has even set up a home studio in his house. So I call him up, told him the story and asked "Can we do this?" "Of course, we can!" he replied.
We read the script, figured out waht kind of music we thought is needed, found the parts where the director had asked for songs and where for instrumental music and we started. For the next three days we stay locked up in his room, drinking sangria, smoking and "composing". Chris composed and recorded the music for the whole play. Ten tracks arranged with full orchestra, mixed and ready to go. In the same amount of time I had managed to compose only two songs! "The loonies' song" and "The prostitutes' song". They were both very simple songs, but given that this was actually a professional project, I wanted them to be decent.
I played them both for Chris and sat back and watched him as he arranged, play and record all the instruments and was ready for me to give the singers a guide.
After that, Chris and I became even closer friends and professional partners in every project or film I ever had to work on. He became my music and sound guy!
Fast forward to 2023, as Chris and me are digging into his old hard drives so that we can check whether his "old stuff" are of any value, when we found the "Steal a bit Less" soundtrack and "The Loonies' song"... we listened to it and I said I want to make an animation out of it... Chris polished the arrangement and added some much needed brass instruments and I sang with my 23 year old self... Updated and refreshed, I moved on to the animation process.
I had so much fun animating the damn thing!!! As most of my professional project have been lives of Saints, my animation had become more "serious" and firm. It had lost its fluidity, its bounces and stretches, the fun and comedy of the actual frames. But this time, I could really let myself loose. Stretch those necks, bounce those heads and let my imagination run as wild as those loonies would. I could play around a lot more with every aspect of it, from the anatomy and the facial expressions to the sound design and the editing. My "firm styled animation" background still restricted me, but I was really happy to start breaking those barriers again.
Dario Fo had set his loonies scene in a monastery, but I felt that a clinic should be more appropriate. A nun still sneaked her way in there though.
For my main loony, the singer, I choose the character that I had created back then for the poster of the "Steal a Bit Less" production, as an hidden easter egg that only I would ever know. Myself, Chris and the lyricist Lefteris make our cameos as loonies and there you have it.
I did all the singing and the voices but the one I had most fun doing was that patient who thinks is a chicken! Just picture it. Me and Chris in the recording booth, with me in front of the microphone and Chris on his console, considering the life choices that led to him to be there, recording his best friend imitating a chicken in his studio!
The film actually did quite well on its festival run! It won an "Outstanding performace" at the Athens Monthly Art Film Festival and a "Silver Best Comedy" award at the 9th Grand Prix of Film Olympiad. At Film Olympiad it was also nominated for "Best Animation", "Best Music Video", "Best film under 5 mins" and "Best Sound Design". It was also featured at the Animation Marathon and Athens AnimFest.
So that is the story of Dario Fo's "The Loonies' Song" as written by lyricist Lefteris Sarafis, composed and animated by Theo Sarafis, and arranged by Chris Maragoudakis!
Or as we call it... "Psycho"!

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