OTHON, a.k.a. Othon Mataragas (born July 30, 1979), is a Greek composer, songwriter and pianist.
Othon Mataragas started to play the piano at the age of four and the following year he gave his first recital. At seven he entered in the National Conservatoire (Greece) and graduated at sixteen with Distinction after winning the Prize of Exceptional Interpretation and the Xanthopoulidis Prize. While in Greece, Othon gave numerous recitals including a concert in the memory of Gina Bachauer. organised by the Cultural Center of the City of Halandri. He appeared on Greek television both national (ERT, ANT1) and private (Blue Sky) and won several competitions and awards such as the National X.O.N. prize.
At the end of the '90s he moves to London in the UK where he studies piano and composition at the Royal College of Music with British pianist Peter Katin, Birkbeck College and at Trinity College of Music with composers Andrew Poppy and Stephen Montague. As a Leverhulme Scholar at Trinity he wins the John Halford Prize. During this time he writes his first pieces but it is after leaving college that he begins his professional career as a composer and songwriter. In 2005 and during his time at Trinity College, he meets Ernesto Tomasini with whom he starts an ongoing collaboration. As Othon & Tomasini they perform his music in concert halls (Festsaalen, Copenhagen, Denmark), theatres (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), churches (Oratorio San Filippo Neri, Turin, Italy), museums (Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and clubs (INIT, Rome, Italy) around Europe and one of their concerts is broadcast on the Radio Nacional de Espana. In November 2009 they appeared as Marc Almond's special guests at the Roundhouse. His latest London performances with Tomasini took place on the West End (Leicester Square Theatre) and at the National Portrait Gallery (Jun & Jul 2010), and as part of the Sacred Festival at the Chelsea Theatre, London (Nov 211)
Projects & Collaborations:
Almond is among the first artists to spot his talent, others include David Tibet and Peter Christopherson, and Othon collaborates with them on various projects. In 2007, he performed a number of concerts with Current 93. Other collaborations of note include those with composer Stephen Montague (Sonic Swamp, commissioned by Eye Music for the Colourscape Music Festival 2006), fashion designer Nasir Mazhar (London Fashion Week), photographer Hector de Gregorio and performance artist Ron Athey with whom he performed in 2009 at the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia. He composes music for the soundtracks of films by Bruce LaBruce (Otto; or, Up With Dead People), Derek Jarman (a new music setting for The Angelic Conversation, played live at the GLBT Film Festival in Turin) and Jörg Buttgereit (new soundtrack of Nekromantik, played live at the Pre Final Fest in Rome)3.
Othon's debut album, Digital Angel, which features the voices of Almond, Tibet and Tomasini, was released at the end of 2008 on the Durtro Jnana label.
In October 2009 Othon gave the world premier of Boxer Coaster, the first piece ever composed for a pianist wearing boxing gloves, at the Pre Final Fest in Rome.
Othon's second album entitled Impermanence, which includes vocal performances by Ernesto Tomasini, Marc Almond, Camille O'Sullivan and Othon, and Justin Jones (from And Also the Trees), at the guitar was released by Cherry Red Records/SFE in November 2011. Impermanence was voted by leading Greek music website Postwave.gr the best Greek album of 2011.* 4
Othon collaborated again with Ron Athey in 2011 for his large scale performance 'Gifts of the Spirit: Automatic Writing' in which he played under hypnosis while wearing boxing gloves and composed the soundtrack to performance artist Franko B's latest work entitled 'Because of Love'(2012).
Othon composed the soundtrack for the graphic novel The Tale of Brin & Bent and Minno Marylebone, written by Ravi Thornton and published by Jonathan Cape, Random House in 2012.