Ilias Mantikos is a greek musician, born in 1989, in Rhodes island. At the age of 12 he started studying the kanun (kanonaki) with Pantelis Anastasopoulos. He also took masterclasses by outstanding Greek and Turkish musicians like Apostolos Tsardakas, Halil Karaduman, Goksel Baktagir, Ahmet Meter and others. At the same time, he competed in a variety of music contests in which he won 4 1st places. At the age of 18, he earned his diploma in byzantine music and in 2013 he graduated from the “Department of Folk and Traditional Music”, based in Arta, Greece.
From 2005 he has appeared to several concerts in Greece and abroad. Since 2008 he has cooperated with Giorgos Dalaras, Dionisis Savopoulos, Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Eleutheria Arvanitaki, Lina Nikolakopoulou, Takim, Matoula Zamani, Orfeas Peridis, Miltos Pasxalidis, Dimitris Ifantis, Dimitris Basis, Panagiotis Lalezas, Thodoris Kouelis, Manolis Pappos and other well-noteted artists.
By 2020 he had already completed the recordings of his first personal music album, comprised of instrumental compositions, written by him. The album is going to be published in 2021. Since 2015 he lives in Athens, where he takes action as a musician, either by taking part in concerts and discography or by teaching.
The kanun, qanun or kanonaki is a stringed instrument played either solo or more often as part of an ensemble in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. Despite the fact that the origin of the kanonaki is not proven yet, samples of similar construction can be found in the Byzantine period, entitled as “psaltery”. In discography it is showed up in the early 20th century, in folk and intellectual compositions of Greece and other countries. The main difference, in comparison with other multi-stringed instruments, is the “mantalia” (small levers that are placed at the left of the instrument and they change strings). “Mantalia” are moved by the kanun player and they can change the music scale. They have the ability to form intervals shorter than the semitone.