A new book and album of modern greek music is out now in a new way with the classical guitar. The info-scanner.com , found more about Mark Hussey, his book and album.

Guitarist Mark Hussey

Tell us a few words about you. How and when you became a classical guitarist?

I’m a UK born British Cypriot with a father from the UK and mother from Cyprus. I’ve been living in the UK since 1997. I gained, PhD in virology from Oxford University (2006) but subsequently turned to the guitar for an alternative career. Guitar music has always had a special place in my heart and I wanted to craft a career if possible doing something I love despite little or no formal training on guitar. With the music I was learning and playing, I started to land classical and solo guitar paid performances. Before I knew it I was being branded a classical guitarist. I would rather like to think of myself as an all round guitarist as I incorporate a lot of jazz, flamenco and improvisation into my music. 

When did you release your book of sheet music and your album: Spirit of the Greeks?

The album and the book were released 1st May this year. To me it was important to release this book now because it marks almost 100 years from the birth of modern Greek music .

How did you get inspired?

The idea for Spirit of the Greeks – Greek music for classical guitar, was born out of me trying to pay tribute to the music I had gown up around in Cyprus. Being a guitarist I wanted to try to express some of these songs as solo pieces and began to craft my arrangements. After writing them down to sheet music, I thought how nice it would be to share them. I sought all the relevant permissions, and was licensed to include them in a publication. I feel rather lucky to have been able to get permission as it was quite a challenge with more obstacles thrown in the way that I could have imagined.  Still, now that it is complete, I’m delighted to be able to share this sheet music for other guitar players to enjoy as well the album for the general public.

What do you believe about the Greek music? Do you believe the older repertoire is not heard anymore by the people? 

I think Greek music has been largely overlooked outside Greece and Cyprus. The language is of course a barrier, but playing this music as instrumental guitar pieces may open it up to a new audience, especially to classical and Spanish guitar enthusiasts.  Greek music deserves a wider audience and I wanted to play my part.  In the west we celebrate the jazz , rock and pop icons but Greek music has its own genius composers, performers and all in a completely unique style. 

I am sure people still enjoy the older music but it would be great to see a strong revival. I wasn’t born when most of this music was written, and so nostalgia does not really play a part in my judgement that the older repertoire is richer in many ways. It was real, honest and in a time of fewer distractions, the messages within were more important and more powerful than today. Of course, the recordings were largely unaltered and musicians really had to play well. 

Do you think that there is not enough promotion for this music ? and how do you think this music should be promoted?

Through writing this book, I discovered that it is very hard for todays performers revive old Greek music through covering it with their own versions. Yes many people do record it, but I’m not sure how ‘legal’ their recording are. The copyright restrictions were an enormous surprise, and in my view of no benefit to promoting the original artists. For example, my aim was to share this music such that the original artists could be rediscovered promoting Greek music and Greek culture. This required a difficult process of seeking the copyright owners, obtaining permission, payment and agree to numerous terms imposed before I could include them in the book, even for songs that are now nearly 100 years old. I believe, covering an artists music should be seen as a positive event, in the interest of the genre, artist and the estate of the artist. It is also of cultural importance. It is strange to think that one could in theory legally perform a song of say Mikis Theodorakis, but when writing it down for others to try their hand at, you could be taken to court for damages. I’m not sure of sharing ‘how to play’ songs, does any damage. I feel strongly that it instead adds to the writers legacy. Perhaps a change to the copyright laws may be the best way helping Greek music expand its reach beyond its boarders.

Which is your favorite piece from the album: Spirit of the Greeks?

My favourite piece on the album could well be ‘Pou Nai Tha Chronia’, not least because I have so much respect for George Dalaras as singer and performer, but also because it is such a powerful, detailed song. It was what I can only describe as a beautiful challenge to play on a single guitar, fitting in as many of these details as possible. Most important however, was getting the melody right. As I was recording it felt like Dalaras was singing it in my ear. It is my sincere hope that he enjoys my rendition supported by flamenco style palmas. 

SONG TITLES

The following pieces are included in both book and album, arranged for and played on classical guitar.

Xekina Mia Psaropoula

Pou Nai Tha Chronia

Frangosyriani

Misirlou

Bouzouki Mou Diplochordo

To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias

Siko Horepse Sirtaki

Never on Sunday

Kaimos

Zorba Dance

Mark can be heard demonstrating these arrangements on the album ‘Spirit of the Greeks’ also available on Amazon, Spotify and Apple (see below)

Website – www.spiritofthegreeks.com

Book promo video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvkuu9ISYIA 

Album link – https://open.spotify.com/album/2v5BvzKJDqkGzbct48mcPX?si=Hn02e-SvR3KbKhaOJbiW_g


Author (s): Info-scanner

We found and met the musician Michael Zambetas Jr, the grandson of the lord bouzouki George Zambetas. Those who don’t know George Zambetas, was a well-known bouzouki musician. His origins are from the island of Kynthos (Greece).

Giorgos Zambetas, Greek music composer, singer and one of the greatest bouzouki artists was born in Metaxourgio area of Athens, on 25 January 1925. His parents were Mihalis Zambetas, a barber, and Marika Moraiti, the niece of a well-known baritone of those years.

From a very young age, Zambetas showed a great interest in music: as he was helping his father in his barber shop, he secretly played his first melodies on a bouzouki. Anything that was producing sound seemed exciting to him and helped him in his compositions, as he said in his biography not long before he died. In 1932, as a seven year old first grader, he won his first prize, playing his first song in a school competition. At the young age of 13, Giorgos met one of the most famous figures in Greek music, and one of his idols, Vassilis Tsitsanis which played a fundamental role in his musical career.

During the German occupation of Greece, in times of poverty and misery, Zambetas founded his first band in 1942, after having moved to the Egaleo neighborhood of Athens, 2 years prior to that.

He was one of the most recognized Greek musicians of all times, working in the Greek cinema of those years with stars such as Aliki Vouyouklaki. He appeared in many Greek film productions, and his compositions used in many, one of the most famous being “Siko Horepse Sirtaki”. He also worked with famous Greek composers, such as Manos Hadjidakis in 1959, and there after collaborated with various leading Greek musicians such as Theodorakis, Stavros Xarchakos and many others.

Despite the struggles of the past decade, due to changes in music fashion, the 1990s brought about new records and releases by Zambetas. However, not too long after his brief revival, by 1992, he had reached not only the twilight of his career, but his life too. In early 1992, his health deteriorated and was diagnosed with bone cancer, which had already reached advanced stages. Prior to that, he had made one final appearance, before his eventual death. Zambetas died at the age of 67, in the Sotiria Hospital of Athens. He was survived by family in Greece, as well as extended family members throughout the Greek diaspora.

He is recognised as one of the most famous and most significant composers, and musicians that have contributed to the Greek Laïko music genre. His former neighbourhood of Egaleo (where he had spent his late teen years, and early twenties) honoured Zambetas by naming the town square in his name, to commemorate him in September 1990.

So let’s go to George Zambetas’ grandson, Michael. Who is Michael? Let’s explore him below!

Hello Michael Zambeta Jr!! I am very glad to see you! So tell me what do you do? Where do you live? How old are you? tell me more about you.

Hello! Thank you so much for this interview Info Scanner! I’m glad to see you too!
I was born in Athens on November 7, 1989. My mother is Cypriot from Limassol and my father is Greek from Athens, unfortunately my father passed away in 2008 and was his son οf great composer George Zambetas. From 4 I have been living in Cyprus with my mother for many years and every year I was visiting with my father in Athena. I started dealing with the music from 9 years old learning his songs of my grandfather in baglama and bouzouki. When I was done of baglama and bouzouki, at the age of 15 I decided to learn guitar and bass. I started writing songs and lyrics influenced from foreign music such as blues and rock. Also from then I started play live music with guitar in bars.

Do you have any memories of your grandfather lord of bouzouki George Zambeta?

I have no memories of my grandfather as he passed away when I was 2 years old in 1992. I only have a few photos with him. I only know him from my father’s stories.

Will you follow in your grandfather’s steps at all?

I believe that I follow the path of music like my grandfather. I write music and play the guitar in my own way. Certainly there are similarities in playing but now i have no deal with the bouzouki because it was different then.

Which is your favorite song from your grandfather?

My grandfather’s favorite song is “Indeed Lord”(Μάλιστα Κύριε) , is a song that touches me as well and I think it touches us all. I like many more such as “The Wanderer”, “The Night owl” etc.

What will be your next steps?

I don’t know that, all I know is that I will write music for my whole life.

What’s new out released on your music?

I have already released 5 albums which are in internet (youtube,spotify). Some albums are orchestral and some with lyrics. The ones with lyrics are “English Ballads Volume 1” and “English Ballads Volume 2” and the orchestras are “Living Nowhere”, “Michael Zambetas Jr 2020” and “Dreaming Softly ”. I am currently recording “English Ballads Volume 3” at this time.

Where did you inspired your ballads?

My ballads are inspired by mine experiences and emotions. Also in my songs inspired from my ideas, my opinions and how I see the world.

Your favourite ballad?

I don’t have a favourite ballad that stands out from the others but I have the impression that people really like “Daniella” and “Something Different”.

Last question : How do you deal with this whole situation with the measures of the Covid19? Did it affect your professionaly?

I was not very affected by COVID19 professionally, because I managed to record one Another album in Athens called ”Dreaming Softly ”.The only thing that bothered me was that I could not play lives in the bars.

Thank you for your time Michael! Info-Scanner and the CEO of info-scanner.com we wish you the best and finally to see you again live in the bars of Cyprus and Greece!

Thank you for your kind words! I wish the same too!

The Michael Zambetas Jr songs on Spotify here:

Michael Zambeta Jr Youtube Channel:

Follow Michael Zambeta Jr on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelZambetas

Author(s): info-scanner