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Smyrna manes – Giannis Niarhos (Full)
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Dates: 8-14 July

In this workshop, we aim at approaching the technique of the Minor Asia song in the beginning of the 20th century and, more specifically, the singing improvisation of that time, the long-drawn out love song known as Smyrna manes.

We will work on both the singing and structural features (mode, rhythm), analysing some musical pieces of composers from Smyrna. Based on characteristic song records of the time, we shall  explore the technique of the Smyrna manes.

During the workshop, we will also study the key features of this particular song genre (the lyrics, the rhythm, the mode swifts).


Giannis Niarhos was born in Athens on August 3, 1967. At a young age, he was already involved with traditional, rebetiko and Greek folk music, singing and playing mainly the guitar, as well as the bouzouki, the baglama and the oud. In 2002, he appeared in Panayiotis Kounadis’ documentary Gia sou perifani ki athanati ergatia, ERT - 2001, with two songs. After that, he participated in several programmes, with a number of bands, in taverns and music restaurants in Athens. He is a member of Apodimi Kompania, with whom he has recorded four CDs so far. With Apodimi he travelled to Australia four times, doing concerts and performing at festivals. From 2013 to 2018, he was a member of the CIE MPTA dance-theatre group, which appeared at major events, in theatres and at festivals mainly in Europe. He is a member of Banda Iovanica, which connects music from Asian Minor to the rich musical tradition of Hungary, Romania and Russia. Since October 2016, he has been performing with the band Takim, performing Café Aman - Greek Delight, supervised by ethnomusicologist Labros Liavas. He composes and writes songs that are deeply rooted in the Greek musical tradition but with contemporary themes. He also performs with the band Anakorda, of which he is a founding member.

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