The project - The documentation process

Finding the archive about three decades after it was created, after an equally long period of inactivity, caused numerous problems. By the time its documentation process began in 2021, most of the artists involved in its creation had passed away. Only a fraction of the recordings featured identifying information, i.e. an announcement at the beginning lasting a few seconds, in which the contributors mentioned the place of the recording, the title of the track and their names.

The difficult task of identifying the recordings, commenting on and documenting them was entrusted, following an open call, to three brilliant and promising young scientists, working with whom was an honour for the University of Crete: George Zacharioudakis, who completed his PhD studies in England and is highly experienced in performing on a multitude of traditional instruments, was entrusted with the traditional music of Crete; Dimitris Kollintzas, a kanonaki virtuoso, teacher of Byzantine music and PhD candidate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, tackled Byzantine music and rizitiko songs; and, finally, Nikos Kokolakis, a graduate of the Ionian University and PhD candidate at the Hellenic Mediterranean University, with tremendous composing experience in the Netherlands, took on entekno Greek and western music.

The key to deciphering the archive proved to be an award event. While preserving and digitising the entirety of the material, two films were found on which the historic event held by the University of Crete to honour traditional Cretan musicians had been recorded. The instigator of the event, Grigoris Sifakis, Foivos Anogianakis and Giorgos Amargianakis, were present and spoke at the event. Thanks to the honorary diplomas awarded to the artists on that evening, we established the date of the event: 8 May 1982.
Following research into the press of the era, with the results kindly provided to us by Giorgos Benakis, we discovered another important item of information: during that three-day period, 50 recordings of Cretan traditional musicians were made. Following cross-checking during an oral interview with Ross Daly, we confirmed that the publication is accurate: Ross Daly himself, an enthusiastic young musician at the time, had been engaged to accompany the various lyra players on his lute during in these recordings. Combined with the foregoing, the voice of Foivos Anogianakis, heard in the announcements before a large number of recordings, ensures that the recording is part of the first brave attempt to record the traditional music of Crete, the first such effort made by a Greek university, as proudly observed by Grigoris Sifakis, who died last summer, just before he could see and, most importantly, listen to the complete archive he had conceived.

The archive digitisation and documentation project was implemented in the framework of the OP CRETE 2014-2020, the beneficiary being the SPECIAL ACCOUNT FOR RESEARCH FUNDS (ELKE) OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CRETE.

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