13. Popular Music in Crete: The Case of the Lyra-Laouto Ensemble



1. Couleur Locale, “Lousakies”

Live performance at the Houdetsi Festival, Crete, 2015.


Giorgos Manolakis: vocals, laouto; Giannis Kapetanakis: double bass; Vasilis Papadourakis: drums.



“Lousakies” is a rendition of the traditional syrto “Lousakiano Krasi” for the laouto, drums and double bass.


2. Daulute, “Ftohi Kardia” (Poor Heart)

YouTube video clip, 2012.


Dimitris Sideris: vocals, laouto; Giannis Papatzanis: vocals, percussion; Giorgos Zaharioudakis: woodwind.



“Ftohi Kardia” is a mostly improvisatory performance by the Daulute, based on the family of syrta which represent a large part of the repertory of the Cretan musical tradition.


3. Babel Trio, “Pacharde”

YouTube video clip, 2016.


Dimitris Sideris: electric laouto; Trikalero: drums; Mihalis Avlonitis: bass.



This song features the electric laouto, an instrument that has been recently developed by Dimitris Sideris and principally employed through his work in the Babel Trio.


4. Xylouris White, “Only Love”

YouTube promotional video clip for the upcoming album Mother, 2018.


Giorgis Xylouris: laouto; Jim White: drums.



“Only Love” is a song that will be included in the album Mother which is expected (as of February 2018) to be released in 2018. Mother will be the third album of the duet Xylouris White whose work is largely based on Cretan music.


5. Γιώργος Ξυλούρης, Γιάγκος Χαιρέτης, Γιάννης Αγγελάκας, Νίκος Βελιώτης, “Σαν Το Νερό Του Ποταμού”

5. Giorgis Xylouris, Giagos Heretis, Yiannis Angelakas, Nikos Veliotis, “San to Nero tou Potamou” (Like the River’s Water)

From: Oso ki an Dernei o Anemos. ATN CD 005, 2012, compact disc.


Giorgis Xylouris: vocals, laouto; Giagos Heretis: laouto; Yiannis Angelakas: vocals, acoustic guitar; Nikos Veliotis: cello; Vasilis Mpaharidis: percussion; Nikos Aivazidis: percussion; Yiannis Marinos: trombone.



The album Oso ki an Dernei o Anemos features pieces from the Cretan musical tradition sung by Giorgis Xylouris and Yiannis Angelakas. The arrangements and instrumentation suggest a different approach to Cretan music which however is not greatly departing from the original—traditional—recordings.


6. Γιαννης Χαρουλης, “Βοσκαρουδακι αμουστακο”

6. Giannis Haroulis, “Voskaroudaki amoustako” (Young Sheep-keeper)

Live performance, 2014.


Giannis Haroulis: vocals, laouto; Kostantis Pistiolis: woodwind; Michalis Porfiris: cello; Pavlos Sinodinos: guitar; Panos Tolios: drums.



The piece was originally recorded by Kostas Mountakis, featuring the lyra and the laouto within a traditional performance setting. This rendition has become popular to both Cretan and Greek audiences by Giannis Haroulis performing on the laouto accompanied by a non-Cretan ensemble.


7. Balothizer, “Live at the Finsbury”

Live performance at the Finsbury, 2017.


Pav Mav: vocals, bass; Nikos Ziarkas: vocals, laouto; Steve Bongo: drums.



With the motto “Cretan Music from Hell” this London-based band offer their own interpretations on pieces from the Cretan musical tradition. Although the combination of bass, drums, and laouto is not unique in the context of experimentations on Cretan music, the approach to singing and the overall style of the band is distinctive.


8. Ross Daly, “Ερωτόκριτος”

8. Ross Daly, “Erotokritos”

From: Music of Crete. FM Records FM1697, 2004, compact disc.



This recording of “Erotokritos” by Ross Daly is representative of his personal and influential approach on Cretan music.


9. Various artists, “Erotokritos performed by 77 artists”

From: YouTube video clip, 2011.


Various artists (annotated during the course of the video) including popular instrumentalists and singers from Crete and the rest of Greece.



The creation of this video has been the initiative of the non-profit organization “pezoume ikologika kai diapolitismika” (We are Playing Ecologically and Cross-culturally) in which seventy-seven artists from Crete and the rest of Greece contribute to the performance of the very popular traditional Cretan piece “Erotokritos”.


10. Νίκος Ξυλούρης, “Αγρίμια Κι’ Αγριμάκια Μου”

10. Nikos Xylouris, “Agrimia ki Agrimakia mou” (My Wild Animals)

From: Rizitika, Columbia SCXG 69, 1971, 33 ⅓ rpm.


Nikos Xylouris: vocals, lyra; Giannis Xylouris: lyra; Tasos Diakogiorgis: santur; Tonis Agos: baglamas; Sotiris Tahiatis: cello; Kostas Kontogiorgos: percussion; Vaggelis Mathimakis: percussion; Antreas Rodousakis: double bass.



This is a rizitiko song arranged by the composer Giannis Markopoulos and sung by Nikos Xylouris. The renditions of Markopoulos and Xylouris on Cretan traditional music became increasingly popular with the Athenian youth during the 1970s and were associated with the left-wing political movements of the period.