CULTURE

Young and old join voices to remember Manos Loizos

He was the most significant Greek artist. Loizos wrote songs as if he were breathing, said composer Thanos Mikroutsikos, a close friend of his late fellow-musician, Manos Loizos, at a recent press conference ahead of tonight’s tribute to Loizos, 19 years after his premature death. Loizos died after a series of strokes on this day back in 1982, just days before his 45th birthday. Reminiscing about the times they had spent together, Mikroutsikos spoke tenderly of his old friend, recalled conversations they had shared, as well as concerts they had played together with another peer, Christos Leontis, to capacity crowds at large stadiums. Most of his songs have been sung [by others]. He never had to write to popular motifs to produce hits. He always maintained his own musical style, something that characterized him as a composer, Mikroutsikos said. The tribute at the Vrachon Theater in the capital’s Vyronas district, on the 19th anniversary of Loizos’s untimely departure, also marks the 10th birthday of Melodia FM, the popular Athens-based radio station, which has opted to celebrate a decade in the business by paying homage to Loizos. As the event’s organizer, the station has invited an impressive cast of performers. We’re aiming to present a representative part of his work by gathering singers Loizos himself had picked, as well as younger artists that will inject their own feeling into his work, said the station’s manager, Odysseas Ioannou. A total of 40 of Loizos’s songs will be sung by a cast of young and old, though the organizers have not disclosed exactly who will be singing what. Among those participating are Haris Alexiou, Dimitra Galani, Giorgos Dalaras, Vassilis Papaconstantinou, Active Member, Nikos Zoudiaris, Christos Thivaios, Costas Thomaidis, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Melina Kana, Socratis Malamas, Lavrentis Mahairitsas, Miltiadis Paschalidis, Eleni Tsaligopouli and Thanos Mikroutsikos. The older brigade, for example, Dalaras, Alexiou, Galani and Papaconstantinou, who had all collaborated with Loizos, will perform songs that had originally been recorded with them on vocals. Since his death, many of Loizos’s peers who worked with the songwriter have all agreed there would have been much more to come from this exceptional artist, who displayed unique qualities as a writer of ballads, popular (laika), and protest songs during Greece’s politically charged days before and after the military dictatorship. St. Mark’s Venetian basilica