Ano/Upper Syra (1905-1972) Piraeus
"If you ever happen to look into Marko's repertoire, it will be like entering a small labyrinth. You'll get to see so many shades. Once you listen to his songs, they will follow you forever, you can never forget them. They have a reason to exist, a stamp, they are charismatic, with personality, honesty, essence, full of love and affection for the human being.
"Markos used to say that a person has to be able to understand two basic things: the history of his homeland so as to realize where he's going and the game of life. Markos was a chronicler who used to sing about the elements of his era to the last detail. He was out there wandering also wandering around people's souls. He was an amazing soul receiver, an antenna. He used to write about the things he was experiencing at the harbour, about the things he used to live with the thieves, the losers; about the ones he used to live with, the busters, the suckers, the handymen, the boozers who burned their inside with heavy alcohol and about all the wretched people and the oppressed ones who sought oblivion and salvation, getting high in opium dens. Till the last moment of his life, he used to write for all the things he saw happening around him. He was speaking honestly. He firmly believed that being true, would lead him to absolution. The truth he spoke about is for me even to this day commands of humanity. Whatever seemed important to him, he would make a song for it. Something usual for Markos, as for all the other great musicians, the great legends of music.
My father wasn't used to isolate himself to get inspired and to create. On the contrary, he took the bouzouki in his hands and wherever he might be, he played and composed his songs.
Markos used to speak through his lyrics.
- How can the Springs be good for me
And all the charms of this world
Since the world Oh you truthless people
Is, all of a sudden, perishing before my eyes. -
Whenever he was moaning, those were his words.
All those who wrote the holy gospels, went through terrible ordeals and were enlighted by pain, fear, poverty, their discomfort, the state of exile, by the arenas and the wild lions their persecutors were throwing them into. Markos went through great difficulties and his way towards his own Calvary was even more difficult. Perhaps the God of music delivered him to the Earth of humans to suffer so many misfortunes and then write his own gospel via his songs and lyrics that narrate the anguish of the soul and lust." *
2012. 40 whole years have passed since the death of the Patriarch of Rembetiko, Markos Vamvakaris. His longliving songs will be heard not only intact, but also heart breaking and enchanting like his tossing life.
Views of the lovely Syra will be the live scenery of his beautiful songs.
A small homage to this magnificent artist.
*Extract from M.Tsilimidis' book "The Holy Buster- Stelios Vamvakaris talks about his father", (Kaktos Publications)