The characteristic sound of Stelios Petrakis is familiar, for several years now, not only in the Greek music scene but also in World Music. The musician (he plays lyra, sazzi, Politiko and Cretan lute, bulgari, Politiki lyra), composer, and instrument maker from Sitia of Crete is one of the most recognizable Greek musicians with dozens of very important concerts and collaborations with renowned musicians and singers such as Ross Daly, Efren Lopez, Bijan – Keyvan Chemirani, Sylvain Barou, Kristi Stasinopoulou, and Manolo Garcia.
The blend of his music draws its materials from Crete, but the guidance and influence of Ross Daly from his very first steps in music were decisive factors in turning his interest towards Eastern music (folk music of Anatolia, classical secular and religious music of the city) and the traditional music of Greece. Stelios Petrakis developed this wonderful blend by adding elements of his own personality from his very first recordings, such as “Orion” or “Mavra Froudia”, which reflected his friendship and long-lasting collaboration with Efren Lopez.
In “Spondi” (2022, ARTWAY), however, he goes a step further and ties his musical blend even more. And the way he does this is through the method of folk, self-taught, music that rural communities have also used for centuries to preserve their history in an oral way. Petrakis delivers an album whose melodies and compositions are inspired by personal stories that the composer has kept to himself, that have shaped him as a person and musician and he feels that the time has come to express them and express himself.
The result gives us the most personal album of Stelios Petrakis, with numerous references not only on a personal level but also to Crete and the tradition of its people. Of course, the musical interpretations are excellent, very rich, and robust, while Petrakis completes the concept by briefly listing in the booklet, each of these stories, and the way they are musically rendered. As Petrakis himself states… “As time goes by, the more I realize that most of the things we do, or say, or believe are, more or less, the result of the actions, the words, and the lives of our ancestors and of all the people who lived in the past and whose small stories have moved and inspired us, set an example to us, and continue to affect us each and every time we recall them. Small and seemingly unimportant events, featuring everyday, simple people who, without meaning to and without knowing it, with a single simple and often self-evident action or word, in a moment, were able to influence society –even if only by a little– as true unsung revolutionaries or philosophers. All the pieces on this album, inspired by such small but moving or philosophical stories, are my own Libation in their honor.”