Monday, July 21, 2014

Reunion with Yannis Loulourgas

Yannis Loulourgas, great singer and bouzouki player, luthier and teacher. Living in the village of Pythagorion on Samos island.

We had not seen each other for almost three years, during which lots of things had happened. So that was some special re-encounter in this May!

Here are a couple of impressions I brought back home from many meetings and encounters with Yannis and his music.

In his shop in Pythagorion:

Yannis working on a new bouzouki in front of his shop:

Yannis and me:

Yannis as a teacher for musical instruments, in front of his shop with his students. You can pass by and meet him and his students there, always on Saturday mornings between 11 and 12 o'clock.

Yannis demonstrates the sound of his type of bouzoukis:

Yannis, with three fellow musicians, rehearsing at "Notos" in May 2014. Dimitris Sofianos (violin), Georgios Markou (guitar) and Dionisis Mastrogiannis (accordion).

One of the songs I always want Yannis to play when I meet him on Samos is "Ο καϊξής " (O Kaixis / Gel Gel Kaixis), the old story of the boatman that is needed to free a beautiful lady kept enclosed inside a harem in Istanbul. What a great song, based on a traditional melody line! Well known in Greece and Asia Minor, sung in greek or turkish language,  The lyrics and a translation into english you can find here.

The recording of this song I took in tavern "Notos", after the noise of scandinavian tourists came down quite a bit after 11 pm (when they left the place!). Yannis is playing with his friend Giorgos Markou, who accompanies him on acoustic classical guitar. In the high season 2014 they will play together at "Notos" every Monday night.