I am really fond of traditional music, it is full of the dense expression of my ancestors, while the history and the distillate of the Greek expression of Romiosyni (the essence of being Greek) are clearly imprinted on it.
I am of Minor Asian origin on my dad’s side and of Pontian origin on my mom’s.
Traditional songs are teaching me how to coordinate with Creation, like in the way, they sing in Epirus expresses the depth and wilderness of its great canyons, while the songs from Constantinople carry the divine expression of the eternal Polis, the Royal City… On the other hand, in the greek islands there is a simplicity full of fresh air and sea-iodine and in this simple and plain way the islanders sing!
Every region has its own local character and our Greece becomes a wonderful garden of worthwhile expression, from the top of Creation, the Man, towards its roots and its whole entity.
The Greeks, throughout the centuries, have learned how to sing from the Church to the holy services and rituals, while at the same time they have imitated the sounds of Nature… Like gurgling water are the turnings of the Pontian songs, lamentful and stretched in Epirus, just like its steep gorges, glorious and rough in Makedonia, sweetly-sung in the varied fields of Thrace, gallant and out-of-this-world in Crete, emerging from the heart of the Mediterranean… like a childish smile, like a kid’s drawing, plain and light in the Greek islands… In Roumelis and Morias (Peloponnese), the turnings of the songs are robust, expressed through their high and historic mountains, while the swinging and the wealth of the musical paths and turnings of the Minor Asian songs come as a spontaneous result of its universal harbours and its glorious history!
Every place…every way… such admirable variation!
Many times, as I study a traditional song, I spiritually go to its place of origin and observe it, so that nature and of course, the locals may teach me their ways, so many times a special turning of a song got unlocked in my mouth as a result of my listening to the sound of a stream, the stepping on a platanus leaf, the distant echo in a canyon or the aura of the open-sea air…
The Art of Tradition is a secret way, which an artist can recognize, tracking down the eternal wealth, since Mother Nature does everything right with an enormous variety of expression… Let alone when the artist is by blood related to the kind of music he focuses on, when he has lived and learned from his ancestors, who – in turn- had learned from the ways of their own ancestors… more, though, by detecting himself, as an eternal part of Creation, the relation between Creation, part of which he is himself, and its Holy Creator!
It is by no accident that in both my life and my career, I have been characterised by traditional music and traditional music, in turn, has also been – to a certain extent – characterised by me.
Roots, need for expression and remembrance… these are the forces that spontaneously urge me to play with this music.