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  • DAULUTE: Yiannis Papatzanis, Yiorgos Zacharioudakis and Dimitris SiderisDAULUTE: Yiannis Papatzanis, Yiorgos Zacharioudakis and Dimitris Sideris
Crete as we Live it

Daulute: as tabor, flute and lute

Ancient instruments for primordial music, reinvented through endless experimentations and improvisations for the modern world. ‘Daulute’ is a music group that ‘refreshes’ the Cretan music scene in the most original way. They take the forgotten musical instruments of our grandfathers, they create new musical creations, a crossroad for the sounds of the East and the West, Crete and the rest of Greece. The group members, Yiorgos Zacharioudakis, Dimitris Sideris and Yiannis Papatzanis are now preparing their first album and talk about their inspirations and musical philosophies on the role of Cretan music in modern times.

Cretazine Tips

  • This is the ‘composition’ of Daulute: Yiorgos Zacharioudakis revives old wind instruments of Greece (thiaboli, diplomantouro, askomantoura, tsampouna) but also of other music traditions (celtic whistles, western flute, Indian bansuri); Dimitris Sideris specializes in Cretan lute and Yiannis Papatzanis works his techniques on traditional percussions of the aegean (toumpi) and explores percussions from other cultures (Petrsian tombak, African udu, frame drums from the Middle East and Swiss  hang drum).
  • Listen to the music score of TEDx Heraklion composed by Daulute.
  • Learn more about Daulute and follow their news in their official website:


Published in  Cretan Tales
//  Written by by Sissy Papadogianni



As musicians you are already known to the Cretan public through your work with other music groups. What kind of “musical urge” led you to form Daulute?

Daulute, as a music scheme, began from a simple effort of three musicians to get together and play music. Our musical ‘connection’ was so great that we decided to continue meeting in a regular basis, and gradually we started playing like a group. Daulute, for us, is like a space where we can express ourselves artistically, improvise and compose music without limits and rules.

How was the unique sound of Daulute created, which is based on traditional themes but gives them a whole new character?

Perhaps it sources from the diverse variety of musical references all three of us have. Our music has elements from different civilizations. Furthermore, we have all studied Cretan music well and was a ‘prerequisite’ for our further experimentations. If one has deeply studied a specific music tradition, especially the one of Crete, he or she realizes that everything is a different version of the “same” primordial tone.

Was it a journey of experimentation and improvisation with Cretan music as a starting point with an unknown destination, or had you already thought of the acoustic result of your efforts? 

Initially we experimented on pieces we were already familiar with, and even though we didn’t know where our experiments would take us, we had a sense of how they would evolve. Even today that the sound of Daulute has acquired a specific character, we won’t stop evolving.

It seems that something is missing from your group: lyra, the most characteristic Cretan instrument. Still, your sound remains authentically Cretan. Lyra’s absence is not even noticed. How do you explain that?

In Daulute the role of lyra has been replaced by Cretan wind instruments, which are historically older than lyra. Studies have shown that the basis of old Cretan themes has been developed on instruments like the Cretan bagpipe (askomantoura) and flute (thiaboli). Lyra was introduced much later, and quickly took over the role of reproducing Cretan themes. In Daulute we like to go deep into primeval themes while at the same time we study new styles and techniques in lyra playing.

The polyphony of modern times has changed us, it defines us and evolves us, whether we realize it or not.

Even though you still don’t have an album out in the market, you already have a loyal and enthusiastic audience that 'glorifies' you in each of your live performances.

In our times there is no need to make an album to have an audience. The internet offers new opportunities for artists to publish their work. The truth is, however, that live performances are the most authentic way of communicating with an audience. Every live show is special to us, because the “chemistry” between allows us to perform interactively and spontaneously.

Just a few years back, Cretan music was only performed in traditional feasts and events (like weddings). How did we reach that point today, where Cretan music is played and performed in bars and other alternative venues?

Music serves a different purpose, according to the social conditions and needs of each time. In the old times, Cretan music accompanied dancing, the company of friends, singing and other festive activities. Today it still preserves and accompanies the same activities but it has also found new channels of expression. We are now able to focus on sound, the acoustics of Cretan music, to separate it from dance and singing and whatever else is included in traditional feasts. We can experience Cretan music in many different ways: in our car, while driving to work, through our cellphone ringtone, in the house, in concerts, festivals or a concert venue. Modern life has infiltrated Cretan music, which finds new ways to move us, in different spheres and conditions.

Do you think the audience of Cretan music has changed as well? If yes, how does it influence your work?

Today there is a plethora of sounds and music styles that influences the audience to a great degree, but us too, the musicians. The polyphony of modern times has changed us, it defines us and evolves us, whether we realize it or not.

Cretan music is one of the few music traditions in Greece that stays alive and keeps evolving through the interest of young people. What would you say is the element that makes it timeless?

Timelessness characterizes all music traditions and civilizations. That’s why we often speak of music traditions whose roots are lost in the depths of the centuries. Of course, timelessness and vitality in music are relative concepts, it really depends on the point of view. Musical elements are not stored in museums, but instead they travel in time, they evolve and are transformed creatively.

We also saw you on the stage of TEDxHer, and the music score of the trailer was your work. How was this experience?

Our participation in TedxHer was a unique experience for us, since none of us had attended a Ted event before. We were honored by the invitation of the organizers and our cooperation was perfect. We had an opportunity to compose original music for TedxHeraklion, and to present our music and thoughts at the same time. We also met many people with great ideas and projects.

When will your first album be released? 

Our first album will be available online. It will feature music pieces influenced by the music of Crete and other music traditions of Greece. There are some other pieces too, which reflect a new music route Daulute has started to follow.

Daulute in the studio, recording their sounds:


DAULUTE ON STUDIO|music video from DEUKALION on Vimeo.