Pitsirikos-3I was born in 1975 in Athens and grew up in Sitia, Crete up to the age of 18. I attended the Municipal Lyra School. My teachers were Giannis Dandolos for one year (1982), Ross Daly for another (1983) and, for 10 successive years, the heroic Eleni Drettaki, to whom I owe a great deal.

Mohlos PitsirikosMy relationship with local music is, I would say, a matter of lifelong experience; ever since I remember grown-ups would teach me mandinades rhyming couplets (often full of innuendo). Without quite knowing the meaning of what I was singing, I would join in adult gatherings to add my own little rhymes, making the whole party burst out laughing.

sxoli-lyrasI had not expressed a wish to learn a musical instrument. My father, then the town mayor, wanting to encourage his fellow-citizens to send their children to the newly-established lyra school, sent me and my older brother there first.

Mouliana-PitsirikosThe summer concerts of the lyra school were both fun and stressful for all the pupils. We had to make sure everything went well at the performance. There was a climate of discipline and concentration, both prerequisites for music itself…

Sholi-lyras-2At the age of 15 I began to scratch away on the guitar, which helped me to get a feeling for the (simple) harmony of Greek music. I now took my lyra with me to gatherings, where I was almost sought after, and therefore privileged. I tried the bouzouki a bit, too – it was fun.

Eleni-DrettakiΤο 1993 σε ηλικία 18 ετών μετακομίζω στην Αθήνα για να σπουδάσω (λέει..) In 1993, at 18 years of age, I moved to Athens, supposedly to study law, with a lyra degree (attained after hard examinations) in my suitcase, signed by my teachers and future collaborators Ross Daly and Zacharias Spyridakis. (Of the three of us, only Ross Daly still has no degree…)