Archive for January, 2012

Collector of Beautiful Moments

January 28, 2012

Loudovikos ton Anogeion-Loudovikos of Anogeia is the stage name of the singer, composer and writer Giorgos Dramountanis .

His pronoun tells of his origin village, Anogeia, which is located on a majestic site at the foot of mount Idi, or Psiloritis (“High Mountain”), the highest mountain in Crete.

In this region there is a cave in which, according to folklore, Zeus was born. The hard topographical surface helped the local resistance in times of occupation: of the Turks in the 19th century and the Germans in the 1940s, which generated stories of the bravery of the locals. Several well-known songwriters and musicians originate in this region.

Dramountanis was born in 1951.  “In winter I remember white.  I would see the sea for the first time at 11… I learned to play mandolin from childhood; then I learned music listening to the elders playing the lyre and singing serenades.” However, he thought of himself as a painter. His course had been determined in 1979 as Manos Hatzidakis heard him singing with friends and the mandolin: “he showed me [how] to paint with music and songs since then…”  He adapted a nickname as the Anogeians who are, as he says, “Teasers” use to do to everyone….

His father was a shepherd, a man like the Anogeian shepherds “that their eyes are full of mountains, full of colors and seasons. These genuine and true people, with their added connection to the environment are my great teachers.”

“I lived with six brothers and sisters in the basement of a small house with the animals, and I remember all those moments that are considered difficult for the young, to me were magical moments; little food, much appetite, much fun, many songs, much music. All affirm that in scarcity resides the significance and in the scarcity resides the joy.”

“…. My father would stare  at the dark clouds, and turning his head, would sniff the air: ‘I notice the smell of snow,’ he said, and hastily made ready with his brother to ascend the mountain, and  that same night, as they took the sheep down to the village, it had already started to snow…”

Here is a song dedicated to a father – a man and a hero, sung by Mario. It is said that this song is dedicated to all fathers… Loudovikos composed the music and the words are by Filippos Grapsas :

To grew next to you
how many times I flaunted 
the light of your heart
the pride of the look
the smell of the embrace
your tenderness

Who is passing outside on the street
with a cloud on his shoulder
Saint George who is returning injured
in the 40s from the mountains of Albania…

Loudovikos described himself as an “observer and collector of beautiful moments”, a latter-day fairy-tale storyteller: Ismene is a lonely woman who all her life is at the distaff and the wool spins. When one day she ran out of wool, she watched the dense fog that has come down on Charmatousa, an area of Mount Psiloritis, and thought it was wool. She took her distaff and went up there.

Kalliopi Veta sings Loudovikos’ song on Ismene, a clip with English titles:

“Life has to be lived naturally”, says Loudovikos ton Anogeion. “To speak slowly, walk slowly, to rejoice with small things in life, a shot of a Raki, a little cheese, some bread, an olive, greens…” You have to live in the moment. The present is in your hand; the past is yours too but not the future which you can only hope for. All people are busy doing their best in the present time so they may live better in the future, but the best does not always come, and all those who are chasing more consumption are always unhappy when they don’t get all of it, and anyway, a bigger car or a bigger house does not bring you happiness. “You see a big car and a man hidden from the rear through tinted glass; it is the most impersonal and useless thing. But you see an old man on a motorbike or a bicycle who with a bag of his purchases, garden stuff and he goes along slowly… You see that he is in accordance with the environment… and he is happy and courteous.”

Loudovikos feels that life in the village has given him a deep understanding of man and the world: “If you know the silence of a man and empathize with it you will also understand his thoughts… and momentary things, small things, lead me to understand the world better, to find the direction of man in the beauty and wisdom.” And for that, “the greatest joy in me is that I grasped only that I exist…”

Living in the moment goes with friendship and love. Friendship is goodness and kindness but love is the most powerful force in the world and “you can not say that you love life or human beings, or your environment, if you have never felt sorrow or pain. Love is born and grows, initially, from the pain, so as to repay you…”

What is the color of love?
Who will find it for me?

To be red like the sun
it will burn like fire
yellow like the moon 
it will have loneliness

to have the color of the sky
it will be far
to be black like night 
it will be sly

What is the color of love?
Who will find it for me?

To be a white cloud 
leaves and passes by
to be a white jasmine
spoil onto the blossom

To be the rainbow
which can not be caught
all the time seems like I am near
and all the time it disappears

What is the color of love?
Who will find it for me?

Loudovikos ton Anogeion:

The Lyrics and the music for the song “Ismini’-Isemene and “Pio to hroma tis agapis”-what is the color of love are by Loudovikos to Anogeion.
Loudovikos to Anogeion interview at:
His biographical book is “Η εξομολόγηση μιας τελείας”-a confession of a dot
Thanks very much to Nata Ostria for translations of texts and songs, for Katherina Siapanta for introducing the song “Saint George” and for Shachaf and Dany Matz for editing.

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