Kalispera Greece Crete.

Nikos Xylouris from Anogia in Crete

On the square in Anogia there is a small museum dedicated to the legendary singer Nikos Xylouris, who died in cancer in 1980 only 55 years old. He is called both "The Voice of Crete" and "The Archangel of Crete".

 

Nikos Xylouris Museum is located on the square in Anogia. Crete.

Nikos Xylouris Museum is located on the square in Anogia.

 

 

Xylouris worked at a young age as a shepherd in Anogia, at the age of twelve he made a lyra (Cretan fiddle) and taught himself to play. He released his first album in 1958. He first became renowned in Crete, and later throughout Greece. Xylouris was politically engaged and became something of a symbol of freedom when the junta ruled Greece between 1967-1974.

None of us non-Greeks can understand how prominent he was in Greece during his lifetime, and in fact still is, something that is clearly noticeable in Anogia where the museum is located, where he stands statue and where he has a theatre named after him.

 

The statue of Nikos Xylouris in Anogia. Crete.

The statue of Nikos Xylouris in Anogia.


The museum is in the same house as he was born and is more like a cafe than a museum. There is no entrance fee, but the owners would like you to order something to drink as a symbolic admission. Maybe a raki or a glass of house wine and some olives. Inside the museum are plenty of photographs of Nikos Xylouris. Please visit the museum, have a cup of coffee and talk for a while with the nice relatives of Xylouris.

 

Nikos Xylouris Museum in Anogia. Crete.

Nikos Xylouris Museum in Anogia.

 

 

Nikos Xylouris is as famous as his brother Psarantonis who is sometimes seen wandering around in Anogia as an ordinary man. (I've met him both in Anogia and in Platanias west of Chania.) Antonis Xylouris (Psarantonis real name) plays lyra in a way no one else does.

Some people like his music above all else, while others think it is just an awful squeaking. I like Psarantonis' music when I am in Crete. At home in Sweden, I can't listen to him. Then it is just an awful squeaking.

 

Concert with Nikos Xylouris' brother, Psarantonis, in Platanias in Crete.

Concert with Nikos Xylouris' brother, Psarantonis, in Platanias in Crete.

 

When we still are talking about music, I must mention Loudovikos of Anogia, he is also from Anogia. (His real name is Giorgos Dramountanis.) Loudovikos is one of my absolute favourites among Greece's many excellent composers and artists. The music (and text) is Greek, but sometimes it sounds more like classical music than Greek musik. Loudovikos of Anogia has released about ten records, and I think all of them is good. In short, it is music that you can meditated to, it is that beautiful.

 

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