Duration: 30 Hours
Timeline: 10.30 – 14.00 & 17.00 – 19.30
Language: English, Greek
This particular workshop is a tribute to Kostas Skarvelis, a famous and prolific composer, guitarist and producer of greek urban folk songs. Dimitris Mystakidis and Evgenios Voulgaris will coordinate the participants as a performing group to be introduced to this fabulous musician.
The group will perform Skarvelis music and will study his performance practices by exploring and analysing the harmonic and modal nature of its music as well as the way these are applied to guitar and other accompanying instruments.
The workshop is open to instrumentalists and singers who have some experience in this musical genre as well as to those wishing to improve their performing skills on it.
Dimitris Mystakidis is a Greek folk guitar virtuoso, who for the last 20 years has pursued his personal quest investigating the roots and branches of rembetiko. A multi-instrumentalist, Mystakidis joined forces with a great number of Greek artists, including composers, musicians and vocalists, while the most long-lasting collaborations were with the composer and performer Nikos Papazoglou and his band “Loxi Falagga” (Oblique Phalanx), and the composer, songwriter and performer Thanasis Papakonstantinou.
Mystakidis is a professor in the Department of Music Studies at University of Ioannina.
He has published two books, for Greek Mainland Lute (Steryianó Laoúto) and for Greek Folk Guitar (Laikí Kithára).
Mystakidis has performed in world music festivals and venues across Europe.
In December 2006, he released his first solo album, ‘16 Rembetika Tragoudia me Kithara’ (‘16 Rembetika for Guitar’), in which - for the first time in Greek music history - rembetiko songs were arranged exclusively for folk guitar. This work was so impactful that nowadays, numerous rembetiko bands are following Mystakidis’ steps. World Music Network (UK) showcased this album and included it in Rough Guide’s album Greek Café as a bonus CD, while Introducing released the album digitally in 2012. Mystakidis’ zeal to approach rembetiko repertoire to all its depths, has led him to release, along with Evgenios Voulgaris, Apostolos Tsardakas and Theodora Athanasiou, a second album, ‘Apsilies’ (2009) with rembetiko songs from pre-war and Smyrna (Izmir) era and his third album, ‘Psithirizontas to Rembetiko’ (‘Whispering Rembetiko’), along with Evgenios Voulgaris in 2013, with rembetiko songs arranged for folk guitar and yayli tambour. His next album ‘Esperanto’, Mystakids’ second solo recording was released in November 2015, including sixteen songs from the post-war repertoire, exclusively arranged and performed with the guitar and with the participation of some of the greatest Greek vocalists.
His latest album ‘Amerika’ was released in April 2017, including songs that were written by Greek immigrants in America over a century ago. In this album, Mystakidis revives the forgotten “tsibiti” guitar style of these musicians, a technique that is clearly influenced by the fingerpicking technique of African-American bluesmen.
He started his music training in 1985 studying Byzantine music and received his Diploma in Byzantine Music with Honors. He has participated in a series of concerts in Greece and abroad, as well as in recordings of Greek Composers’ works. He has also taken part in recordings made for Radio (3d program), TV channels and the cinema. From 1995 he is the leading mandolinist of the Orchestra of Colors.
His interest in traditional music started in 1992 and took the form of apprenticeship next to Christos Tsiamoulis. For the last seven years, he has been teaching in the Municipal Conservatory of Patras in the Department of Greek Music, in which he also holds the position of the Head. During the same time – more specifically from 1992- he has been leading the School of Traditional Instruments which operates under the auspices of Ilia’s Church in Pyrgos and Amaliada. His appointment in the Bartholomeo and Patras Musical Schools can also be included in his teaching experience, along with his more recent appointment (starting in March 2005) in the Department of Popular and Traditional Music (Epirus Technological Institute), where he teaches the oud, yayli tambur, organology, and ensembles.
From 2001 until today he has been attending lessons on the interpretation of eastern music’s tropes next to Fahrettin Cimenli and Murat Aydemir in Istanbul. At the same time, he has been attending a series of seminars on oud, saz, afghani rabab, as well as composition and orchestration in the context of the “Labyrinth” Musical Workshops organized in Houdetsi.
In April 2000 he founded the ensemble ‘Romioi’, which has won excellent critics for its performances of Ottoman Music in various places (Patras, Athens, Simi, Catelorizo, Messologi). Recently and in cooperation with Markos Skulios, Tolis Tsardakas and Panos Poulos founded the Ensemble of the Workshop of Eastern Music in the Department of Popular and Traditional Music.
His CD entitled “Wanderings” (in cooperation with the singer Dora Petridis) has been in circulation from the beginning of May 2004. His compositions include music for theatre (‘’ The History of a captive”, ‘’Staxtomazoxtra’) and “The Message of the Prince” (with Christos Galanopoulos). In 2007 he published (in cooperation with Vassilis Vantarakis) a collection of 200 rebetika songs of the Inner War Period transcribed in the modal system. The collection was published by Fagotto Editions (incorporation with the Department of Popular and Traditional Music (Technological Institute of Epirus).