Sunday, May 29, 2011

Psarantonis - I Reckon

Antonis Xylouris, known as Psarantonis, was born in Anoyia Crete in 1942. He first picked up the lyra at age 13, and within one month, played at his first wedding. "The job was funny", Psarantonis now reflects. Named after his grandfather who was also a lyra player, Psarantonis in three years became one of the most renown new talents in Crete. Psarantonis plays various sorts of lyres as well as laouto, 12 stringed laouto, mandolino, tzoura, and daouli. Psarantonis is an acquired taste. He plays unlike any of his peers. His singing is like no one else's, ranging from mellow whispers, to low singing, from cacophonous bellowing to an incomprehensible moaning. His playing ranges from simple to beautiful from wild to painful. Handpicking the musicians that accompany him, he composes a sound rooted in tradition -only newly interpreted. Psarantonis’ old albums consisted of him playing lyra with two laouta (his son was usually one), but he always added another instrument if he could, such as the askomandoura (a cretan bagpipe). As time progressed Psarantonis added more instruments to his compositions such as outi, mandolino and bulgari. Today Psarantonis’ albums are not lyra- laouto compositions, like most cretan albums of today. The use of more instruments, such as a lyraki (a small lyra) accompanied by a vrodolyra (a large lyra that looks like a small cello), allow him to form compositions that are deeper in texture than anyone else's today. (Creternity)

Artist: Psarantonis (aka Antonis Xylouris)
Album: I Reckon
Year: 1998
Label: Lyra
Runtime: 70:34

1.  Hymn to Mount Pseloritis (Antonis Xylouris) 2:51
2.  Ether (Antonis Xylouris) 6:05
3.  Pentozalia (Traditional) 6:45
4.  Vibration (Antonis Xylouris) 4:30
5.  Little lyres (Antonis Xylouris) 2:27
6.  Sword-strokes (Traditional) 1:28
7.  Kastrinos (Traditional) 2:36
8.  Lyre solo (Antonis Xylouris) 1:45
9.  Voyage (Antonis Xylouris) 3:56
10.  Syrtos (Folk dance originating from Chania) (Traditional) 3:05
11.  Homecoming (Antonis Xylouris) 2:24
12.  Pidichtos (Traditional) 2:13
13.  Dance of the Curetes (Antonis Xylouris) 3:12
14.  The memory that hurts (Antonis Xylouris) 3:18
15.  Look at the mountains (Antonis Xylouris) 1:45
16.  How beautiful the garden is (Antonis Xylouris) 2:35
17.  Storm (Antonis Xylouris) 2:49
18.  Dead be all (Antonis Xylouris) 3:18
19.  Harvest time (Haralambos Xylouris/Manolis Pappos) 5:23
20.  Hantiperas (Antonis Xylouris) 8:00

Psarantonis (Cretan Lyres, Mandolin, Lute, Tzoura, Tabor)
Panos Katsikiotis (Earthen Pots, Percussion, Tabor) -1-7, 9-20
Yorgos Xylouris (Lute, Oud, Lyre) - 4,8-13,20
Haralambos Xylouris (Lute, Bulgari) - 1,3-8,10-13,19,20
Ioanna Andrews (Oud) - 1,3,6,7
Nektarios Kontoyannis (Lute) - 3,6,7
Manolis Farangoulitakis (Cretan Wooden Flute, Bagpipes) - 10,12
Achilleas Persidis (Lute) - 2,9
Yannis Xylouris (Lute) - 1
Ross Daly (Rebab) - 9
Yorgos Doulgerakis (Lute) - 4
Haralambos Lagadinos (Tabor) - 13
Manolis Pappos (Lute) - 19
Alekos Stamatopoulos (Percussion) - 19
Dimitris Koukoulitakis (Acoustic Guitar) - 19

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