GIORGOS XYLOURIS – Introduction to Cretan music
Anogeia, a historic village in the mountains Psiloritis, in the region of Rethymno where the villagers (most of which farmers) have a great sense of humor and love music between friends. This is the sort of environment that Yiorgos Xylouris grew up in, an offspring of the great music family of Xylouris. From an early age he started playing the lute, which he learned in the traditional way, meaning listening to the old musicians of Crete.
His father Antonis Xylouris (Psarantonis) was a key figure in the shaping up of his musical personality, next to which he was a student for many years. At the same time Yiorgos Xylouris researched the musical specificities of the other areas of Crete and as many say he is one of the few folk musicians of the island who does them justice with his lute as well as his vocal performances. Rhythmic precision, comprehensible development of melody and emotional expression are the main characteristics of his playing. He plays out of feeling and not out of obligation.
When he was 25 years old he left for Australia to play at a musical festival and he stayed for 8 years. He came in touch with musicians of different traditions and styles of music, he created the groups “Antipodes”, «Χylouris ensemble» and he records his first inspirations. Since then he has been a part of various music productions and he has inspired the new folk musicians of Crete with his style. He has travelled all over the world, as a guest of every Greek community, and he has participated in a great deal of festivals and traditional music seminars. In Greece he is collaborating with great musicians, traditional and not like Ross Daly, Achilleas Persides, Stelios Petrakis and others. He is one of the few who Cretan who is still passing down the knowledge aurally. Yiorgos Xylours is considered today one of the most important lute players of Crete, but also a musician who is capable of collaborating creatively with musicians from other music genres.