Markos Vamvakaris

Markos Vamvakaris
Markos Vamvakaris

Markos Vamvakaris; painting in the Taverna Katoga O Lili (Ταβέρνα ο Κατώγα Ο Λίλη) in Ano Syros (aka Ano Chora) on the island of Syros, Greece
Background information
Birth name Markos Vamvakaris
Also known as The Patriarch (O Πατριάρχης)
Born May 10, 1905(1905-05-10)
Ano Syros (aka Ano Chora), Syros, Greece
Died February 8, 1972(1972-02-08) (aged 66)
Athens, Greece
Genres Rebetiko, Greek Music
Occupations Musician, songwriter, artist
Instruments Singer, Bouzouki, Composer
Years active 1932–early 1960's
Labels Columbia Records, Parlophone, Odeon, His Masters Voice, RCA Victor

Markos Vamvakaris (10 May 1905 in Ano Syros (aka Ano Chora) in Syros – 8 February 1972 in Athens, Greece) (Greek: Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης), was a rebetiko musician. He is universally referred to by rebetiko writers and fans simply by his first name, Markos. The great significance of Vamvakaris for the rebetiko is also reflected by his nickname; the "patriarch of rebetiko" (O Πατριάρχης)[1].

Contents

Biography

Vamvakaris was born on May 10, 1905 in Ano Syros (aka Ano Chora), Syros, Greece. His family belonged to the sizeable Roman Catholic community of the island, the Frankosyrians, a name deriving from the common Greek reference to West Europeans collectively as "Franks".

At the age of twelve, believing he was wanted by the police, Vamvakaris left Syros and went to Piraeus. He worked as a stevedore, employee at a pit-coal mine, polisher, paperman, butcher and other jobs. He heard a bouzouki player playing, and swore that if he did not learn to play the instrument in six months he would cut off his hand with a cleaver (he was working in the Athens slaughterhouse at the time). He learned bouzouki, becoming an innovative virtuoso player, and began to compose music, and write songs. At first he often played in hashish smoking establishments known as Tekes, later he and his band, which included Giorgos Batis, Anestis Delias and Stratos Pagioumtzis played in more legitimate clubs. They were extremely popular, and Markos made many recordings.

Vamvakaris recorded his first rebetiko disc, Na 'Rchosouna Re Magka Mou (Να 'ρχόσουνα ρε μάγκα μου) in 1932. Among other songs in that period, he wrote the classic love song "Frangkosyriani" (Φραγκοσυρισνή).

After the liberation of Greece from the occupation of Nazi Germany, difficult times arrived, since his kind of music was no longer fashionable. He also suffered badly with arthritis in his hands that crippled his bouzouki playing and asthma that hampered his singing. The slump in his fortunes lasted until the early 1960s, when after initiatives by Vassilis Tsitsanis, many of his old songs were revived, sung by modern singers including Grigoris Bithikotsis, and Stratos Dionysiou. Vamvakaris died on February 8, 1972 at the age of 66.

Markos' composing style was utterly simple: minimal orchestration, melodic lines stripped of any embellishment, and lyrics as devoid of ornamentation as possible. His strophic masterpiece "Your eyelashes shine" is a typical example of his art. It consists of just three short sentences, each sung twice with clauses reversed for the second time:

Your eyelashes shine
like flowers on the field.
Your eyes, sister,
crack my little heart.
Search till you're blind:
you won't find one like me.

As the years pass, his towering contribution to Greek music emerges. All other laiko composers, of his time and afterwards, revered him as their master teacher, and Mikis Theodorakis remarked: "We all, we are but branches of a tree. Markos is that tree".

Discography

Markos may be heard on many of the anthology CDs listed in the rebetiko discography. CDs of his own which may be available in English language countries include:

  • Markos Vamvakaris Bouzouki Pioneer: 1932-1940 Rounder Select, 1998.
  • Rembetika 5-Master of Rembetika 1932-193 [Box set] (4 discs) Jsp Records, 2010.
  • The Road to Rembetica Trad. Crossroads, 2010 (accompanying CD to the Book by Gail Holst - see References section)

In popular culture

Stavros Xarchakos and Nikos Gatsos wrote a song called Gramma sto Marko Vamvakari (Letter to Markos Vamvakaris, Greek: Γράμμα στο Μάρκο Βαμβακάρη), sung by George Dalaras and actress Despo Diamantidou. Also, Thodoros Derveniotis and Kostas Virvos wrote Markos, sung by Kaiti Abavi. Markos Vamvakaris is also mentioned in the following songs:

  • Deka palikaria (Ten lads, Greek: Δέκα παλικάρια) by Manos Loïzos and Lefteris Papadopoulos, sung by George Dalaras
  • Ihes thalasses sta matia (You had seas in your eyes, Greek: Είχες θάλασσες στα μάτια) by Elias Andriopoulos and Michalis Bourboulis, sung by Antonis Kalogiannis
  • I mikri istoria tis Marinas (The short story of Marina, Greek: Η μικρή ιστορία της Μαρίνας) by Dionysis Tsaknis
  • Rock fegari (Rock moon, Greek: Ροκ φεγγάρι) by Andreas Mexas and Vasilis Mastrokostas, sung by Paschalis Terzis
  • San ton Samouil sto Kougi (Like Samuel in Koughi, Greek: Σαν τον Σαμουήλ στο Κούγκι) by Tzimis Panousis
  • Sto retire (In the penthouse, Greek: Στο ρετιρέ) by Angelos Axiotis, sung by Antonis Kalogiannis
  • Ta mesimeria tis Kyriakis (Sunday afternoons, Greek: Τα μεσημέρια της Κυριακής) by Giorgos Hatzinasios and Yiannis Logothetis, sung by Manolis Mitsias
  • Graphic novel Rébétiko by David Prudhomme (Futuropolis, 2009)

References

  • Markos Vamvakaris - Autobiography (Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης- Αυτοβιογραφία - Εκδ. Παπαζήση, 1978) published by Papazisi, 1978 (in Greek)
  • Road to Rembetika: Music of the Greek Sub-culture [Paperback] by Gail Holst (Author) Denise Harvey (Publisher); 5th edition (February 1994)

External links

There is a 2001 documentary made of his life and times, entitled "I Like Hearts Like Mine", by George C. Zervas, in Greek with English subtitles. http://www.der.org/films/ilikeheartslikemine.html

Notes

  1. ^ Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης- Αυτοβιογραφία - Εκδ. Παπαζήση, 1978

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Markos Vamvakaris — Markos Vamvakaris, Gemälde Markos Vamvakaris (griechisch Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης, * 10. Mai 1905 im Viertel Skali (Σκαλί) von Ano Syros, auf Syros; † 8. Februar 1972 in Nikea), war ein griechischer Bouzoukispieler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Márkos Vamvakáris — Markos Vamvakaris (* 10. Mai 1905 im Viertel Skali (Σκαλί) von Ano Syros, auf Syros; † 8. Februar 1972 in Nikea (Attika)), war ein griechischer Bouzoukispieler und Rembetikointerpret. Er gilt als Guru der Bouzoukispieler, noch viele heutige… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Márkos Vamvakáris — Márkos Vamvakáris. Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης (o romanizando su nombre Márkos Vamvakáris) fue un intérprete y compositor de rebético, considerado el más importante de todos los tiempos. Biografía Márcos Vamvakáris nació el 10 de mayo de 1905 en la isla… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Markos Vamvakaris — Tableau dans une taverne de Syros Markos Vamvakaris est un compositeur, musicien et chanteur de Rebetika, né à Syros en 1905 et mort en 1972. Sa voix rocailleuse, son jeu à la technique sommaire et efficace, et la thématique de ses textes en font …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vamvakaris — Markos Vamvakaris (* 10. Mai 1905 im Viertel Skali (Σκαλί) von Ano Syros, auf Syros; † 8. Februar 1972 in Nikea (Attika)), war ein griechischer Bouzoukispieler und Rembetikointerpret. Er gilt als Guru der Bouzoukispieler, noch viele heutige… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rebetiko — Der Rembetiko (griechisch ρεμπέτικο) ist ein griechischer Musikstil, der aus den Volksmusiktraditionen Griechenlands und der sich zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts in den Städten Athen, Piräus und Thessaloniki bildenden Subkulturen hervorgegangen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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