Cultural and innovative: Daulute’s first steps into Cretan music

Kriti, apart from ‘creation’ in Hindi and a form of musical composition in Indian classical music, is the original name of the biggest Greek island, most commonly known as Crete.  Apart from a unique, complex ecology, harbouring the highest plant diversity in Europe, Crete maintains a wealth of vibrant traditions from food to music. If you visit the island with genuinely curious senses, outside of the beaten tourist tracks, you will be exposed to unparalleled images, sounds, flavours and smells. There is no other place in Greece, where traditional music is more alive; Crete is the epicentre.

Daulute is a new Cretan trio delving into a musical tradition of inexhaustible richness. Apart from skillful musicians, they seem to have studied well the musical path they want to follow. As they claim, they want to accomplish a personal interpretation of traditional Cretan music, by integrating Western wind instruments like whistles and flutes. They want to cover traditional Greek things in their own experimental interpretation.

Apart from creating novel sounds on cultural pieces, Daulute are conserving local instruments almost extinct. For instance, the flutist George Zacharioudakis, uses rare Cretan pipes and whistles and the percussionist expands the techniques of playing the local ‘toympi’. It is an ‘in vivo’ conservation, more dynamic than collecting instruments as museum exhibits.

During modernization, especially since the 1970s, traditional music with the influence of the booming music industry, was either marginalized or underwent various ‘transformations’ with dubious, at times tragic, results. Plenty are the examples of decadence and denigration of traditional music from Greece (skiladiko music, meaning ‘dogish’ or ‘doghouse’) and elsewhere (turbo-folk in the Balkans etc.). However, there are artists, mostly in Crete, that have preserved traditional music.Daulute, as evident in this recording, treat tradition with respect.

The following song, named ‘Ftohi Kardia’ (Greek: Φτωχή Καρδιά, meaning ‘poor heart’) was filmed at the studio of the Technological Educational Institute of Rethymno, Crete:

This is part of a short film called “Daulute on studio”, which captures the ambience during the recordings of the very first compositions the band has been performing. The whole project was filmed by George Gavalas, Deukalion Manidakis and Dimitris Kalaitzakis and edited by Stelios Dafermos. The recording of these 5 tracks was made live by Nikos Kephalogiannis.

Daulute are:

– Dimitris Sideris (Cretan and Greek mainland lute, vocals)
– Yannis Papatzanis (Cretan dauli, vocals)
– George Zacharioudakis (mandura, flute, bansuri, tsambuna)

Read more about Cretan musicians:

Psarantonis – epitome of deep-rooted tradition and genuine innovation


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