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Si je salue les montagnes // If I Greet the Mountains

Giorgis Xylouris / Stelios Petrakis / Periklis Papapetropoulos

Hidden in the mountains of Crete, Anogeia is a tiny village whose music resounds to the four corners of the earth. Anogeia is not the village of Zeus, although he is said to have been born on the island, but it is the birthplace of a dynasty of musicians, poets and politicians. Though the people of Mount Psiloritis are proud, hardened and rebellious, their vision extends far out into the seas that surround them. The people of Crete have fought hard for their freedom from one generation to the next, and it is not surprising to find in these remote areas the descendents of those who spoke of freedom and identity in the same breath, and who divulge their true feelings in song.

One such example is the Xylouris family of Anogeia. Nikos, the mythical singer and idol of the region, passed away prematurely in 1980. His brother Psarantonis, his voice as rough and rocky as a shepherd’s path, has sung the Cretan repertoire for many years, accompanied by the brilliant flights of his lyra. Giorgis is Psarantonis’s son and Nikos’s nephew, and his brothers and sisters are also musicians and singers. He is the repository of an immense heritage and of a savoir-faire handed down by his father. The Cretan song repertoire and the laouto’s rhythms are his lifeblood. He enjoys returning to the simplest songs, those which are echoed by the laouto and the lyra, and has a special affection for the unadorned rizitko, a song with an allegorical or symbolic text which often deals with the history of the island.

Distribution :

Giorgis Xylouris : vocals, lute
Stelios Petrakis : lyra, lute
Periklis Papapetropoulos : lavta, bulgari, lute
Giorgis Manolakis : lute
Keyvan Chemirani : zarb, udu, daff

Collection VOX POPULI

CD - AC 131 - 2010
Harmonia Mundi