MUSICAL TRAVELS WITH NEKTARIOS MITRITSAKIS

by Haris Mitsouras

 

Travels, Music and Reflections are factors that determine and guide Nectarios modest nature. His level as a musician is defined by the identification of his music with life itself. Within the notes of his music his life is reflected whilst within the days of his life music resounds.

Born in October 1971 in Chania, Crete, comes early in contact with the musical tradition of his island. In this way, begins his love and respect for music and the musicians. The fairy tales that he had listened and read those years were his first travels to the East and overwhelmed his small heart with fragrances of mystery and spices. Computer studies did not satisfy his uneasiness while his first travels at the end of his adolescence to Canada, Holland and Italy strengthen, instead of appeasing, his wonderings.

At the age of 23, he byes his first guitar and begins intensive classes. In that year he is established in Thessalonica. The animate big city with its culture widens his views by theatre, reading psychology and literature and watching concerts of jazz, blues, ethnic and traditional music. It is there in April 2005 that the course of his life takes a decisive form when in a concert of Classical Indian music he meets Rabindra Narayan Goswami, an internationally recognised master of sitar and surbahar (bigger in size and deeper in sound than sitar). After some years, Goswami was meant to be his music teacher and the person that influenced him deeply with his simplicity and modesty. In that first meeting they just had a sort talk, more than enough to bind them together in the future and to put India for good in Nektarios mind. Next winter finds himself back to Crete going on with guitar classes, while he is broadcasting in local radio station (Plus 103) jazz, rock and ethnic.

In November 1996, he travels to Nepal and India and after four months tour purchases his first sitar in Bombay. Back in Greece where he receives classes of sitar, jazz and lyre art nektarios photo2with Ross Daly. His love for the tradition turns him to the study of instrument making, Cretan lyre and lute with various different teachers such as G. Ntaountakis, B. Piperakis and N. Daskalakis.

Besides a monthly visit in Mount Athos, where he is inspired from the Byzantine music and prayers, he continues taking music classes uninterruptedly until November 1998 when he travels again to India and the sacred city of Benares in order to study sitar with Rabindra N. Goswami. Since then, he lives six months every year in India getting deeper into the Indian classical music. Besides sitar he studied for two years vocal with Devashish Dey, while from 2001, which is a decisive year for him, he turns with enthusiasm in the study of surbahar. In 2005 he is senior in music academy (sangeet prabhakar) of Allahabad. His musical instruments are rare pieces made after order from known craftsmen of Calcutta namely Ram Krishna Bhattacharya, Naskar.

The devotion and dedication that define Nektarios’ character led him soon to attain recognition as a virtuoso, through many concerts that performed the recent years in India and Greece. Culmination of his career is his participation in the yearly festival of Dhrupad Mela in Benares (one of the greatest music events of India) every year since 2003, something that very few western musicians have attained.

Also remarkable are his recitals in different areas in India, while in Greece he has performed in various festivals, theatres, conservatories and known music stages of Athens. The press also starts revealing interest like the magazine Difono, local Indian and Greek newspapers, radio stations (ERA Chanion) etc. ,while he receives invitations to participate in known music bands as a season musician. Today he gives classes of Indian classical music and performs with a band that has as a perspective to expand in musical fields that transcend geographical borders.

During his staying in Varanasi, Nektarios began to study Vedic Astrology, initially with Margaret Mahan from Canada and since 2002 continues with Ram Kumar Mehrotra. Astrology for him can fill intellectual gaps and reveal causes for what happens in the life and emotions. In Nektarios’ understanding astrology and music are paths. Paths that if someone treads them honestly and boldly guide him back in the true Ithaca – the neglected self. He himself has tried through his musical and geographical trips to conciliate and to transform into one all those that in a first glance seem incompatible – Greece and India, travel and daily life, music and science, home and wandering but most of all the union of the heart with the mind.

This post is also available in: elΕλληνικα (Greek)