Psarantonis, (Antonis Xylouris), composer, singer and performer of lyra, the emblematic bowed string instrument of Crete, is one of the greatest representatives of Cretan music.
With the unbeatable boldness in improvisation, he manages to create the atmosphere of awe and shivering, like the great jazz musicians. Deep connoisseur and devotee to tradition but also undisciplined by his nature and restless, always surprising, Psarantonis today is considered as the dashing innovator of tradition – a living essence of primitive and modern musical narratives.
By 1980 he had been discovered abroad and was invited to most important music festivals around the world. Among others, in 1982 he was awarded the 1st Prize from the WDR Folkfestival in Cologne, he performed in Berlin, at the festivities for the 750 years from the founding of the city and at New York’s Town Hall for the 20 years of the World Music Institute. He was also invited twice at the “All Tomorrow’s Parties” festival, curated by Nick Cave and in 2013 he participated for New Year’s eve event in Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Psarantonis’ lyra is now showcased at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 2015 Psarantonis meets again Nick Cave in the creation of the original film score for “Loin des Hommes” by David Oelhoffen. The music for the film is written by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.