By Sotiris Bekas
Giorgos Mavridis is a unique case of a musician who seems to draw his evolution from the orientation manual that was maintained by the old self-taught musicians, guardians of our folk tradition. Self-taught himself, he began his musical journey in 2011, with the traditional music of Drama and the Macedonian lyra, and very soon (2013) became the main musician on the lyra and in singing at the custom of the Anastenarides of Mavrolefki Drama. He followed this with several works on music accompaniment for theatrical performances, as well as two record productions with a repertoire from Drama, one present on Bandcamp (“Tis Exochis Pouliakia“) and the other on YouTube (“Makedonika Tragoudia Dramas“).
As a natural continuation, his new record work “The Lyra and the Dahares, Set Up a Dance Yesterday – Songs & Melodies from Drama” (KEPEM, funded by the Region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace) comes to add to a series of musical contributions, always distinguished for their aesthetics and meticulous curation. Whether it is approaches to the musical tradition of Drama with a simple as well as “raw”, direct, powerful, but unpretentious interpretation, or for musical compositions created for theatrical performances, characterized by an ambient, electronic elements, and experimental sounds. The CD contains an anthology of some of the most beautiful songs of the Drama area, interpreted in the manner just described. A musical approach with primal characteristics, which carries a sound, simple yet revealing. This is also due to the fact that Mavridis chooses a sparse orchestration which is fulfilled by himself (Macedonian Lyra, Singing) and Vasilis Koklas (Dahares, Singing).
Also, significant work has been done overall with regards to the production and delivery of the record work, with a very rich and informative booklet, which contains information about the music of Drama, the Macedonian Lyra, the Gaida, the Dahare, the local customs, the dances of the area and of course for each song separately.
It is worth recalling here the words of Giorgos Mavridis, as they give the epilogue to this particular booklet: “Finally, I warmly thank all the people who preceded us, who kept the traditions, instruments, dances, music, and customs alive until today. This edition is dedicated to them as the least tribute and a big thank you for what they have passed on to us. Our promise is to transmit them unchanged to the next generations and to keep the chain of tradition unbroken into the future, creating a strong connection with our roots.”
A Few Words About Giorgos Mavridis
He was born in 1984 in Drama. He is a graduate of the Department of Informatics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Department of Music Technology of the London College of Music, Thames Valley University. Since 2011, he started his engagement with the traditional music of Drama and the Macedonian lyra. He is self-taught in learning the lyra. In 2013, he became the principal musician on the Thrace lyra and in singing at the custom of the Anastenarides of Mavrolefki Drama, in which he participates continuously.
Since 2013, he has also worked as a musical instrument maker, having graduated from the instrument-making department of KEPEM – “Simon Karas” Conservatory with teacher Manolis Giannoulakis. He participated in the 8th and 9th Lyra and Bow Instruments Meeting (2015, 2017), which takes place in Kasos, representing the Macedonian lyra. As an instrument maker, he has participated in the 1st and 2nd Traditional Instrument Making Exhibition of the “Simon Karas” Conservatory, while he teaches the Macedonian and Thracian lyra at the same Conservatory.
He has represented the music of Drama in several performances of traditional dances and corresponding seminars in Athens and the rest of Greece.
In 2020 he participated with the lyra as a musician on stage in the performance “Persians”, a production of the National Theater. He has composed music for many theater performances and in 2013 played the Macedonian lyra at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, in the performance “Exercise Epidaurus Symimon”.
KEPEM – “Simon Karas” Conservatory (Production), Giorgos Mavridis, Iordanis Mantzouris, Dimitris Mantzouris (Production Organization – Coordination), Giorgos Mavridis (Macedonian Lyra, Singing), Vasilis Koklas (Dahares, Singing), Giorgos Mavridis (Recording – Mixing)
Cover Photo Credit
More on the cd
More on the music of Giorgos Mavridis