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The composer’s vision had materialised and a new musical wave had been born which he termed “Return to the Roots”.He defined it as “a project for the future involving the process of examination, evaluation and selection of the indestructible sources of our living traditions in combination with selected contemporary art forms and elements”: the outcome was an exceptionally original sound emerging from the unique tone colours stemming from the unaccustomed blends of instruments and voices.
He took his first lessons in music theory and the violin at the local conservatory and played the clarinet in the municipal band.
Yannis Markopoulos was born in 1939 in Heraklion, Crete.
From one of the old families of the island—his father was an attorney and later the Prefect—he spent his childhood in the seaside town of Ierapetra.
In London he composed the secular cantata Ilios o Protos (Sun the First) on the poetry of Odysseas Elytis (Nobel Prize 1979) and completed the musical ceremony Idou o Nymphios, a work the composer still wishes to keep unreleased with the exception of one part, the song Zavara-Katra-Nemia, a vocal composition of Dionysian character, that was released in 1966 and became one of his best known pieces.
Also in London he composed Chroismoi (Oracles) for symphony orchestra and the Pyrrichioi Dances A, B, C (the first three of the 24 Dances he completed in 2001) that were performed in 1968 by the London Concertante Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
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Markopoulos continued composing music for the theatre and for the cinema, collaborating with directors such as Jules Dassin, George Cosmatos, Nikos Koundouros and Spyros Evaggelatos.