About Kranides & The Album - O Lykos ( the wolf )
KRANIDES is a project of Greek singer and Laouto player Marifenia Rizou, and Dutch/French guitar player, producer and experimental instrument - designer Michiel Hollanders. They combine Greek roots with other world-music influences. The bandname ‘Kranides’ refers to the village of Kranies up in the Pindos mountains behind Arta, where they started this project, and where parts of the recordings were done. It is a place that never ceases to inspire , through the majesty of the mountains, the crisp clean air, and the quiet away from hectic life in today’s society.
The two musicians met in 2012 during the years that Marifenia studied in Wageningen, Holland, where Michiel lived and played with Balkan band Parne Gadje. Plans arose to play as a duo, but it was not until after Marifenia had moved back to Greece - and brought Michiel with her - that they found the time to seriously work on music together. A meeting with writer Yiannis Kalpouzos gave their plans quite a boost, as Yiannis, upon hearing their first sketches, was very enthusiastic to provide them with lyrics. A slow process began, as during the days, the two were trying to get a citrus farm started, plus design and sell furniture. In the evenings or on rainy days, they worked on music, exchanging sketches and ideas with Yiannis, and welding it into a whole. All this took some time, but by the end of 2015, 11 pieces were ready to be recorded. The idea was still to record mostly as a duo, with some overdubs of Michiel's various instruments, but some musician friends were interested to add a part here or there, and this quickly transformed some of the songs into much fuller sounding arrangements.
By the time mixing was done, it was clear that doing these songs live as a duo wouldn't stand up to the CD. Although it is not possible to get all guest musicians together on stage, some of them have joined to form a 5 piece band, which is now doing shows in Greece, and hopefully soon in the rest of Europe.
You can stream 3 tracks in MP320
The CD 'THE WOLF' was made in close collaboration with Yiannis Kalpouzos, who is a highly respected Greek writer. He is known as a novelist, a poet, and lyricist for songs, and has been successful for many years in each of these fields. Yiannis and Marifenia had known each other for years, and when Kranides decided to write an album with new music, they found Yiannis enthusiastic to contribute lyrics to the project.
Yiannis Kalpouzos was born in the village Melates of Arta, but he lives permanently in Athens since 1983, as an 'internal immigrant' as he puts it. His published works to date include three poetry collections, a collection of short stories, and six novels. His poetry collection "Love now and forever" was on the short list for the national poetry prize, and the novel "Imaret" was awarded the Readers' Prize of the National Book Centre. "Imaret" has been translated and published into Polish, Turkish and Arabic. Imaret has also been published in an adaptation for a younger audience. Yiannis Kalpouzos has written the lyrics of around 80 songs, including 'Whatever I love is yours' sang by Glykeria, 'Ten witches' with John Savvidakis, 'If only you were the sea' with Natasa Theodoridou, 'What I have missed' with Eleni Peta, 'Because I loved you much' by Orpheus Peridis, (also interpreted by famous singers Socrates Malamas, Glykeria and Manolis Lidakis) - and many other well known songs.
Yiannis Kalpouzos (writer, poet, lyricist).
Album Tracklist - O Lykos
1 - O,ti vlepeis o,ti aggizeis
2 - Tis thalassas i agkalia
3 - Entoles
4 - Taksidi
5 - Ta matia sou t anisixa
6 - Stis diadromes tou pathous
7 - De ksexniesai de se lismono
8 - Oso paei opou paei
9 - Tis psixis to spiti
10 - Na moun ekei na soun edo
11 - O Lykos
Recorded and mixed at Pindos Music, Arta, 2016 Mastering by Wim Bult
Artwork by Alexander van der Linden
About Marifenia, Michiel & Kranides
Guitars, claudeviol, oud, musical saw, laouto, fietsbandbas, percussion
Michiel Hollanders started playing and building guitar-like contraptions from age 11, something he has continued feverishly ever since. As a teenager he got interested in sound technology and music production, which led to a studies of Guitar, Composition and Production in Groningen and Hilversum. His self-built instruments and productional skills came to flourish in Singer Songwriter project Big Low, and alternative Balkan band Parne Gadje, which did extensive touring in Europe. On the side, he did some Argentine Tango projects in a duo with classical guitarist Izhar Elias, and dabbled in French Musette. He worked as a guestmusician / co-producer in projects such as Parissa Bouas' EP 'The Full Force Of The Wind' (winner of 4 Dolphin Awards) and Carl Cleves' album 'The House Is Empty' (nominated in 5 categories for the MusicOzz Awards) Since 2014 Michiel lives in Greece. He does music productional jobs under the name Pindos Music. THE WOLF is the first album with his compositions.
photos by Eljee Bergwerff
Marifenia Rizou grew up with the traditional music of Epirus and other parts of Greece, and from age 11 she performed professionally on weddings, festivals and other shows, as part of the celebrated ensemble Lalitades. Surrounded by some of the best traditional players in Greece, she got quite a reputation of her own for her groovy playing of the laouto, and enchanting voice. In Lalitades her role as a laouto player was very important, but a few songs excepted, her singing was mostly second voice or 'isio' (singing on one tone behind the melodic vocal, a very typical characteristic of Epirus music) With KRANIDES, Marifenia combines her passions for various styles of music and steps to the front as a lead singer. Although her traditional roots are obvious, her voice and feel are entirely her own.
Musicians & Friends
Giorgos Kotsikas (GR)
Giorgos Kotsikas grew up in a musical family where he played, like Marifenia, from an early age, traditional Greek music in the family band. As these bands would sometimes be a musician short, it is common practice to borrow each others violinists, klarino players etc - so Giorgos and Marifenia hung out in the same scene. After many years of playing traditional music, Giorgos decided to take his chances and went to study the classical violin, from which he has recently graduated. Giorgos is an excellent player with a broad musical taste, including mambo and other Latin styles. He is currently teaching the violin as a private teacher in Athens, and plays whatever he can, wherever he can.
Giorgos Kotsikas (GR) – violin on track 3
Kostas Klagos (GR)
Kostas Klagos is a steady and skillful bassplayer from Athens, with roots in the Pindos mountains close to Kranies. Kostas joined Kranides with great enthousiasm, focus, and professionality. He is mainly active in Athen's jazz scene, playing with something like 8 to 10 different ensembles at a time, for each of which he is always well prepared, bringing his relaxed and focused energy to rehearsals and performances. In Kranides, Kostas is also helping with bookings, planning and promoting.
Kostas Klagos (GR) – contrabass on track 2, 5, 6, 7, 10
Giorgos Floudas (GR)
Giorgos Floudas played many instruments from a young age, and worked most of his life as a professional violinist, guitarist, teacher (he wrote a series of educational books for the violin which are highly appreciated) Apart of Greek traditional styles, Giorgos studied also classical violin, which allowed him to perfect his technical skills and broaden his musical horizons. A sensitive soul and a life of hard work have made him a very special musician, known through all of Greece, By now, he leads a more quiet life, but is still highly sought after for his unique touch at weddings and panigiria (festivals), where his haunting sounds dance around the equally mesmerising tones of the klarino, on the beat of the laouto's and drums.
Giorgos Floudas (GR) – violin on track 1, 5
Gerwil Kusters (NL)
Gerwil Kusters is one of Holland's most respected Balkan - and - Beyond - reedplayers. He was for many years a core member of Balkan crossover band Parne Gadje. He is an excellent and much sought-after teacher, with his own teaching practice. On his site you can read about his other projects Yabani and Zor. As a player, Gerwil stands out through his sensitive and supportive playing interchanged with energetic solo's, his thoughtful choice of instrument and color in each song, and his playful interaction on stage with both bandmembers and audience.
Gerwil Kusters (NL) – baritone sax on track 3, 8
Brice Soniano (FR)
Brice Soniano is a virtuoso contrabass player, from the region of Narbonne in the south of France. He currently lives in Danmark, and travels a lot with his bass, through all of Europe and outside. He is an incredible improviser, and has done many projects with equally gifted improvisors, creating new and exciting music which exists only 'in the now'.
Brice Soniano (FR) – contrabass on track 1, 4
Marc Constandse (NL)
Marc Constandse is an artist of extremes. He performed music and theatre in various ways before he started playing the bandoneon. On stage, Marc is charismatic and inspiring, incorporating many styles into his own. Through the years he has worked with various projects ranging from Industrial Punk to the Holland Baroque Society to alternative singer-songwriter projects such as Big Low to his own renowned Balkan-band Parne Gadje, which made 5 CD's and did shows throughout Europe.
Marc Constandse (NL) – bandoneon on track 6, 9
Why we do this promotion,
Well, it's easy, we're relaunching the website of snailrecords. We are starting new projects & are busy remastering older releases to HiRes Audio. We want to give Snail Records another start in this troubled times for record labels.
Snail Records was founded by Dragi Sestic in 2002, he joined partnership with Wim Bult at the end of 2014. We both are dedicated to make Snail Records one of most beautiful labels in the northern hemisphere and its southern counterpart. So please we hope you will be part of this/our new journey.
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