The Cretan artist
“The autobiography of the unforgettable Cretan artist Manolis Rassoulis that is under final process will give answers regarding his multi-dimensional personality as well as his artistic concerns” underlined in an interview to “In-On” magazine Natalia Rassouli the daughter of the artist who not only has studied music herself but also is a singer as well.
It has to be noted -she underlined- that he recently wrote another book on Crete whereas there are some of his works in the field of music that will be announced in the future.
According to Natalia Rassouli his major works which constitute a milestone in the modern Greek music reality are the following: “e ekdikisi tis gyftias” (The revenge of the gypsies), “ta dithen” (The alleged), “ta tragoudia tis Haroulas” (Charoula’s songs). The above were composed in his early years of lyrics writing and not only were they remarkable but also changed the existing situation in Modern Greek music industry. Later, a great deal of records followed that are considered a manifest, not only in an artistic level but also in a sociopolitical level. “Oi kyvernises peftoune ma e agape meni” (The governments are falling but love remains), “Pexe Christo epigontos” (Chris play urgently), “Namaste pali edo Andrea” (Here we are again Andreas), “Pote Boudas pote Koudas” (Sometimes Buddah sometimes Koudas), “Ta podosferika” (Football songs) that contain the anthem of the football team OFI, “Valkanizater” (Valkanizater), “Ηummus Sapiens”, in collaboration with Israel’s most important songwriter Jehuda Poliker. Rassoulis and Jehuda Poliker made an effort through civilization to unite Palestinians and Israeli as well as the relation between Greece and Israel”.
All his works -as Natalia Rassouli mentions- stem archetypically from Crete because he was not a mere Cretan but one that respected and tried to comprehend Cretan civilization in depth, in the sense that this civilization has influenced the rest of the world. He was deeply concerned with Minoan civilization and its impact on the neighboring countries. In his book “Jews are Cretan Greeks” all these concerns are precisely developed. It could also be mentioned that along with his former book, another significant piece of work was the book “Κnossontas the truth”. I believe the title of this specific book reflects his connection with Crete. Actually, he ended every concert with the rizitiko song. “Kosme chryche, kosme argyre” (World gold). A very important moment in his life was in 1988 when he organized cultural events in Archanes in Herakleion in Crete with a peak moment the concert of his friend Akis Panou.
Manolis Rassoulis was born in Herakleion in Crete on the 28th September in 1945; he was brought up in Herakleion helping his father at his jeweler’s shop. Having finished the sixth-grade High School, he moved to Athens where he studied film direction, he wrote poetry and scripts and worked as an amateur singer in music halls in Plaka. On April 21st 1967, he was arrested by the Junta and spent a few hours at Bouboulinas’ torture center». He left for London where he stayed for 6 years. In May 1968, he participated in a mass student uprising in Paris and got seriously injured. In 1974, a bit after the events at the School of Polytechnics, he went to Athens, where he hid to avoid the arrests by the Secret Police. In the summer of 1974, after the evens in Cyprus and the fall of the junta, he continued his political struggle. He worked in Andreadis’ shipyards in Perama, took part in the strike committee and became one of the leaders in the labor movement that overthrew the already existing status in the big shipyards in Elefsina. In London, in June 1973 his daughter was born. He gave her the name Natalia.
In 1974, he was invited by his friend Manos Loizos and sang in the record “The negri” with Maria Farantouri. Also, Manos Loizos promoted him to sing in a commercial of a TV series that became an instant hit. The composer Nicos Mamagakis proposed him to sing in his record based on Prevelakis’ poem “The new Erotokritos”. His first three books were published: “The ballad of Isaac”, a complex poem inspired by young people’s struggle and in which Abraham’s sacrifice was seen from a different perspective. His songs are known and popular in Israel, Turkey and Serbia, in countries where Greeks live and for a mysterious reason in Japan.
Source of publication 13th edition In-On