ΓΙΩΡΓΟΣ ΜΠΑΤΖΑΝΟΣ - UDİ YORGOS BACANOS

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UDİ YORGOS BACANOS

(1900-1977)

     When I think of the oud and all it's amazing possibilities as an instrument and a communicator of emotion, many great players stand out in my mind.  However, one player is for me the ultimate example of a master on the oud, and that man was Yorgos Bacanos (
Γιώργος Μπατζανός).  He revolutionized oud playing from an early age, combining every necessary element needed for mastery including brilliant technique, masterful knowledge of the makams and rhythmic forms, and a deep love for his instrument.

     Each of his performances was a lesson in itself not only in technical mastery of the oud, but for every aspect of the music of the day.  I have found no other examples of taksim that so clearly follow the classical progression of makams, while at the same time bravely taking the oud technically beyond any player before him.  He, along with other players such as Udi Nevres Bey, Şerif Muhiddin Targan, Udi Mısır'lı İbrahim Efendi, Udi Hrant Kenkulian, Udi Kadri Şencalar and others opened the door for all of us, regardless of what instrument we play, to the amazing possibilities of our own imagination.  It is my strong advice that if you have not been truly exposed to the playing of Udi Yorgo Bacanos, you take some time and really listen to what he was doing so long ago on this ancient instrument that we love.  Allow yourself to be inspired by his unconventional and masterful playing and open your mind to his message, which I believe is:  "We are free."  Free to express ourselves as we wish, as individuals, while remaining deeply rooted in tradition.

     There are several albums that feature Udi Yorgo Bacanos and give us a musical window into his playing and persona.  They can be found through Tulumba, Traditional Crossroads and Kalan Müzik.  Of course, along with Bacanos, there are recordings of many more masters to be found on all the instruments.  Listen to as many different performers as you can to help form your own feeling and style as you play.  We are very lucky to have so many recordings of the great musicians of the past and present to use for guidance and inspiration.

Take care, and enjoy the music!

Sincerely,

Mavrothi T. Kontanis

www.mtkontanis-music.com

Copyright Mavrothi T. Kontanis. All rights reserved 2008