The cultural presence of the mandolin in Greece is linked to four different musical traditions coming from four different regions: Asia Minor, the Ionian Islands, Athens, and Crete. However, since the music has traditionally been passed on from generation to generation by means of oral transmission, and since traditional musicians are now in old age, all this heritage is about to be lost.
Thanks to the six-month starting project grant which Styliani Markatatou and I obtained, we succeeded in providing a first presentation of these traditions. Moreover, in course of our performances during the six-month grant, several international organizations and musical associations have shown strong interest in our research and have encouraged us to further pursue our research mission.
During this project, I will focus on the musical traditions of Asia Minor and the Ionians islands. Fieldwork will provide an overview of the repertoire and an accompanying range of insights about unknown playing techniques and pedagogical processes that are severely lacking at the moment.
The purposes of the project are to explore, document and record the repertoire, as well as the playing techniques that have evolved throughout the musical traditions of Asia Minor and the Ionian Islands; to develop and document a specific performance practice method for these two traditions; to enrich the mandolin’s repertoire; to improve improvisation skills of classical musicians; to inspire new composers to create new contemporary music for mandolin.