Our idea was to combine the sounds of classical music with the sounds of Greek traditional and rebetiko music. This we tried to achieve it by performing our own transcriptions and prototype instrumentations in Greek music, giving a more classical sound to them.
To exemplify, the combination of string instruments such as violin, viola and cello with mandolin and guitar and a baritone voice could give to our music a special, delicate and beautiful colour which we are sure that will not leave anyone unmoved. However, we did not aim to change the character of the Greek music. For that reason, we influenced by the firsts recordings of these songs and a lot of times we choose that two or more instruments to play the same melody.
The fact that our group consists of members coming from three different countries was intentional. We wanted to combine our different cultures to give a cosmopolitan air to the group, enriching our music with different emotions and temperament. Our aim was the originality in this kind of music which is not widespread. Thus, we chose really carefully the Greek repertoire and selected melodies which could be imprinted easily in the mind.
In conclusion, because of the lack of scores for the Greek music, we needed to write our own transcriptions. Thus, we decided to write and give to the musicians just the basic melody of each piece and ask them to improvise on it. The result that we aimed was somehow the mix of our music cultures.
Beatriz Laborda Gonzalez
Beatriz was born in 1992, in Ponferrada, Spain. She began her studies at the age of 7 years with Maite Miralles in the Conservatory of Music “Cristobal Halffter” of Ponferrada. He attended the Professional Degree with Jorge Gassent and Elena Real, combining his studies privately with Aldo Mata and Iagoba Fanlo. In 2010 she entered the Conservatory of Music of Vigo with Ana Torres as a teacher. Since 2012 she attends classes with Barbara Switalska at the School of Music in Berenguela.In 2015, she finishes her bachelor studies in Vigo and is admitted to study Master in Music at the Royal Music Conservatory of Antwerp with Olsi Leka as principal teacher. She received masterclasses from cellists such as Jose Enrique Bouché, Miguel Jimenez, Iagoba Fanlo, Berthold Hamburger, Aldo Mata and Claudio Merlo among others. In the symphonic arena, she participated in groups such as the Municipal Band of Ponferrada, the Young Symphonic Band of Castile and Leon (JOBASCyL), Young Orchestra of Vigo (Xovigo), Young Orchestra of the Galicia Symphony Orchestra (OJSG), Camerata Ars Nova , Galician Opera Orchestra, Vigo Classical Orchestra, Ciudad de Pontevedra Philharmonic Orchestra and the international project “Prove d’orchestra” in Trento, Italy.
Eleni Tsiotsiou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. At the age of six she began her musical studies with the violin. At the Greek National Chamber Music Competition in 2005, she won the second place and in 2006 she participated in the Mozart Festival in Salzburg with the orchestra of the Music School of Thessaloniki. She began to study the viola at the Department of Music of the Ionian University and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2014. During the academic year 2011-2012, Eleni studied as an Erasmus student at the Trossingen Academy of Music in Germany with Prof. James Creitz. Since 2013 Eleni studies in the class of Prof. Leo De Neve at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, where she is currently completing her Master’s degree. During the last three years she has played in projects by deOrkestacademie and in 2015 she made her practicum in the orchestra of the Opera of Flanders. She has followed masterclasses with Ara Malikian, Pedro Cortinas, George Demertzis, Russi Dragnev, Vassile Beluska, Hara Sira, Paul Silverthorne, Gerard Causse, Máté Szűcs, Jorge Alves en Guy Ben Ziony.
Sara Lorenzo was born in A Coruña (Spain) in 1994, and at the age of 7 she started the violin in the Conservatory of Music of Santiago de Compostela with Elena-López Felpeto and Roberto Santamarina. In June of 2016 she finished her Bachelor studies with Patricio Gutiérrez in the Superior Conservatory of Salamanca. She was active member of the Young Orchestra of the Galicia Symphony Orchestra (OJSG) from 2012-2015. She also collaborated with Galicia Symphony Orchestra (OSG). She participated with the Brussels Philarmonic Orchestra (BPO). She received master classes of several musicians like Abel Tomás, David Grimal, Tatiana Samouil, Alfredo Garcia, Friederike Saeijs and also chamber music master classes from Alejandro Bustamante, Dimitri van Halderen and Cuarteto Quiroga. Currently, she follows the Master’s degree at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium by the professor Guido de Neve.
Mathijs Ignoul was born in Maaseik, Belgium, on the 12th of November, 1990. He studied Latin and Sciences at a local high school in Maaseik and went on to earn a master’s degree in Ancient History at the Catholic University of Leuven.
At the age of nine, he began playing classical guitar with his uncle, Werner Vanderlinden. After taking private lessons with him for a few years he went to the local music school, where he studied guitar with Bart Timmermans and Music theory/Harmony with Veerle Cornelis. In the context of these harmony lessons, Mathijs started composing original works. Currently, he is studying at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. He studies guitar with Roland Broux and Jan Sanen. He briefly studied composition with Wim Henderickx (minor) and has taken master classes with a.o. Mark Eden (Eden Stell duo), Laura Young, Goran Krivokapic (GFA winner of 2004), Zoltan Katona (Katona Twins), Istvan Römer, Anders Miolin, Jeremy Jouve, Alberto Mesirca, … . Furthermore, he received the first prize in the national Belfius competition (in Belgium) in 2011. Mathijs has performed with the Limburgian Youth Orchestra and the orchestra of the Academy of Arts of Maaseik. In 2013 he played several performances in the USA by invitation of Guitar San Antonio. Mathijs plays an Oren Myers guitar from 2013.
Maria Markatatou was born in Heraklion in Crete, Greece. Her family and her relatives had no connection with the music. However, from an early age, she felt attracted to music and the mandolin. In 2001 she enrolled in the music high school in Heraklion, Crete attending lessons of mandolin, tamboura and piano and in 2007 she graduated. After high school, she studied mathematics for the next six years at the department of Sciences of the University of Ioannina, Greece. At the same time, she enrolled in the conservatory of Filippos Nakas in Ioannina, Greece and she studied harmony (2007-2009) and counterpoint (2010- 2012). Moreover, she followed two years of private violin lessons. During her studies, she specialized in Greek traditional music and she made a lot of concerts in several cities of Greece. In 2013 she enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp following bachelor in music and classical and baroque mandolin with the professor Gerda Abts. Till today she has attended master classes in mandolin by the professors Marga Wilden Hüsgen, Daniel Ahlert, Ricardo Sandoval, Rada Krivenko, Natalia Marashova and Katsiaryna Zabairachnaya. Maria gave recitals in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and in several cities in Greece. She performed a lot of different genres of music and she gave master classes over Greek music and mandolin at the music academy of Lier and Brasschaat, in Belgium. Currently, she is following master studies in music, in the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp by the professor Gerda Abts.
Elina was born in Heraklion of Crete in Greece. From a very young age, she was impressed with every kind of music as well as the trying to learn a musical instrument. Graduating from elementary school she was accepted at the High School of Music in Heraklion that after 7 years she graduated with high marks. In 2007 as an Exact Science Direction student, she successfully passed the required marks for attending the University of Mathematics in Ioannina. Simultaneously, she enrolled in a private conservatory to follow theoretical music studies, studying harmony (2007-2009) and counterpoint (2010- 2012) studies at the Filippos Nakas conservatory of Ioannina. During 6 years Elina specialised in Greek traditional music and she made concerts in several cities. Elina Markatatou studied mandolin and baroque mandolin with Prof. Gerda Abts at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp where she got her artist degree with great distinction in 2016. During her studies in Belgium, she attended various master classes given by Marga Wilden Hüsgen, Daniel Ahlert, Ricardo Sandoval, Rada Krivenko, Natalia Marashova and Katsiaryna Zabairachnaya. Elina gave recitals in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and several cities in Greece. She performed a lot of different kinds of music. She has the talent to work with the music and to be able to perform whatever kind of music that they asked her from the traditional Greek, Italian, to more classical pieces. Following master studies at the royal conservatoire of Antwerp, she gave master classes over Greek music and mandolin at the music academy of Lier and the music academy of Brasschaat.
Arsenis Gkionis grew up in Corfu, Greece. He studied singing with Prof. Rosa Poulimenou at the Department of Music of the Ionian University (Corfu) and he received his bachelor diploma with excellent marks in 2011. During the years of his studies he has sung many main roles in different productions. The academic year 2009-2010 Arsenis studied via the Erasmus Program in the Hochschule für Muziek in Freiburg-Germany with Prof. Angela Nick. Since 2014 follows the Master’s Degree Program with Prof. Stephanie Friede in the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. During the years of his studies he has followed master classes of singing and melodrama with Andrea Reibenspies, Ettore Papadia, Carol Richardson Smith, Christoforo Stabogli, Abbie Furmansky, Catrin Wyn-Davis, Thomas Michael Allen en Roger Vignoles.