Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas | The Soul of Epirus

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Instrumental
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The Soul of Epirus

by Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas

A creative dialogue between the clarinet and the laouto (8 - stringed, fretted Greek lute) through which the music of Epirus in northwestern Greece - a cultural treasure of immeasurable value - is approached!
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Palio Zagorisio
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
3:23 $0.99
2. Grava
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
4:54 $0.99
3. Potamia
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
2:11 $0.99
4. Zagorisio
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
2:16 $0.99
5. Skaros
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
3:35 $0.99
6. Gkekas
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
3:59 $0.99
7. To Parapono Tou Laoutou
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
2:39 $0.99
8. Fysouni
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
4:32 $0.99
9. Mariola (Miroloi)
Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas
10:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The music of Epirus is a cultural treasure of immense value for Greece. This musical tradition has been described as "The Word's Most Beguiling Folk Music" by the New York Times. It uses its vast and versatile repertoire to express the feelings of joy and regret of the people, to honor those who have passed away or live in foreign lands, and at the same time to celebrate life and nature itself.

This performance, as the homonymous album, focuses on a new dialogue between the clarinet and the lute, through which this music is translated, based on the conversation of the two instruments.

A creative approach of the orchestral pieces and the playing that was established by the clarinet player Kitsos Harissiadis in the decade 1920-30, who created a unique and in parallel multifaceted musical language of the repertoire of Epirus, which Petroloukas Halkias maintained and further developed during his lifetime. This philosophy of playing, after years of study, was adapted by Vasilis Kostas from the clarinet of Petroluka Halkia to the lute.

Petroloukas Halkias
"I met Vasilis in Boston back in November 2015 during the annual Greek dance event organized by the Epirotic Society of Worcester. I had never met him before despite the fact that we both come from the region of Pogoni in Epirus, Greece. The moment I heard him playing “Skaros”, using the exact same phrasing I use when playing, I realized that this kid could achieve great things. The only laouto soloist is Christos Zotos but his performances reflect a different style that he created. Two days after that event, we presented the Epirotic music at the New England Conservatory in an event attended by the faculty as well as the university students. At the end of the concert, I encouraged Vasilis to adapt more instrumental pieces in order to play them the same way I do; such as “Zagorisio”, “Palio Zagorisio”, “Potamia” and “Gekas”, and to try to create longer lines on the laouto. More specifically, I told him “Vasilis don’t stop! Play continuous lines!” Indeed, after we met a few more times and practiced some pieces, I came to realize that he could accomplish on his laouto exactly what I did on my clarinet.

Vasilis and I created something that will be left as a legacy to the young musicians. We, as musicians, entered a chaos that never ends. Ηowever, each new generation can have its own small contribution to whatever the previous generation created, the same way my generation did. Decades ago, Kitsos Harisiadis was the musician who created his own philosophy and a brand new playing style on the instrumental Epirotic pieces, on which we also built our style. Later on, Vasilis and I took it upon us to add a little bit of our own elements and further develop each one of Kitso’s lines. We did not “demolish the pillars of Parthenon”; we just enhanced whatever was handed to us, so the next generation will accomplish something even better.

Throughout my whole life I tried to put all different emotions into my clarinet. The feeling of happiness, the feeling of sadness, the feeling of being polite and good to people, but also getting hurt. There’s no end to music, and it’s my inner hope that the new generation will take what we created and develop it even further".


Short bios

Petroloukas Halkias is a living legend of the clarinet and one of the most important ambassadors of Greek traditional music nowadays. He was born in the village Delvinaki in Pogoni, Epirus where he started learning music from a young age next to the masters of the Epirotic clarinet; Phillipas Rountas and Kitsos Harisiadis. His father, Periklis, went to America before World War II and obtained great popularity as a clarinetist. In 1960, Petroloukas Halkias emigrated to the United States where he lived for 20 years, spreading the musical heritage of Epirus and performing with many different groups. One of the highlights of his stay in the United States was the invitation to perform a concert at the White House. He returned to Greece in the 1980's when he started recording albums which gained great success in Greece and abroad. Petroloukas Halkias at the age of 86 years old remains a lighthouse of the Greek tradition and a source of inspiration for the young generation of musicians.

Vasilis Kostas is an acclaimed laouto player from Epirus, Greece who is a member of the 'Global Messengers', the group of Grammy Award-winning pianist and UNESCO Artist for Peace Danilo Perez. Ηe has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Panama Jazz Festival, and WOMEX in Poland. His approach on the laouto is based on studying Petroloukas Halkias's clarinet lines and philosophy on his instrument as well as finding ways to combine jazz improvisation tools with the elements of his musical roots. Vasilis has graduated from the Masters program of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston where he studied on a full scholarship. Prior to this, he received his degree in Philosophy and Pedagogy at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece and his diploma at the Berklee College of Music. Vasilis Kostas lives and works in Boston, and travels internationally and throughout the United Stated to present his musical roots.



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