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Frangos Theologos Frangos Giannis | Ikaria | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Aghios Kirykos, Ikaria
• Short biography

Giannis (violin) and Theologos Frangos (lute and bouzouki) are professional musicians with an academic background in music theory: «[Giannis Frangos:] Well, officially, I finished in 1999, but they continue [my studies], it’s not something that ever really ends […]. [Theologos Frangos:] I took lessons until 2001-2002, but I don’t think that means very much, it’s not something you ever finish. I still feel like a student, and I’ll feel like that for the rest of my life».

They perform music professionally in a number of areas across Greece, taking part in musical and dance events, weddings, parties, festivals, concerts, etc, and they also often travel abroad. They’ve worked with many well-known musicians and singers: «[Giannis Frangos:] It’s all part of the job […]. Then come the trips, the concerts, I’ve done a lot of work for dance events, too […]. For work? Everywhere […]. I’ve been to America, I’ve been to Cyprus, Turkey, many trips […]. [Theologos Frangos:] I’ve played in Arabia, Mexico, Spain, Italy […]».

On their repertoire, they said: «[Giannis Frangos:] If they ask me to play with a band, I need to adapt to their style. That’s my job, as a professional. If they asked me to play in Naxos, I’ll have to play certain things for them. It’s not that easy [to adapt your repertoire], but you must do it, nonetheless. If they ask me to play in Thrace, I’ll have to play, to do something relevant [to the local music] […]. [Theologos Frangos:] This happens a lot in Greece. The music of each place is very personal, it’s based on local experience».

They also take part in fairs and festivals in Ikaria. On traditional music, and the way festivals are organised, they said: «[Giannis Frangos:] To begin with, the Kariotikos, everyone plays their own version here […]. The tune varies. One person plays it this way, the next person that way. [The musician] listens to the Kariotikos, they grow and grow and grow [listening to the Kariotikos] and from there on, they add their adapt it to their own style […]. [Theologos Frangos:] We listened to the Kariotikos first [and] then played […]. [Giannis Frangos:] I’ve adapted the Kariotikos, because the first instruments in Ikaria – it wasn’t the violin – were the tsabouna and the lyre […], and I try to adapt it to the tsabouna, as much as I can […]. The festivals are held in venues, sort of traditional because […], they will never be quite as traditional as in the old days [….], but traditional, still, in the sense that they they’re not organised for the shops. In other islands, they’re organised for the shops, the shops get together and have a band playing, for them. Over here, the festivals are organised by the associations, they’re held in ravines, among the plane trees, for the locals […]. [Theologos Frangos:] We had chartoura in Ikaria, up until a couple of decades ago […]. We never had that in these parts, payment was always by agreement. In the back [villages of Ikaria] it was always by chartoura, in Karginagri, Raches […], until 1970».

Translator’s Note: Kariotikos – traditional dance of Ikaria; tsabouna – Greek island bagpipes; chartoura – traditional method of payment for folk musicians, whereby satisfied members of the audience would give the band cash (often by spitting on the notes and sticking them onto the musicians’ foreheads).