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Leonidas Klados

 In seventeen days I learned to tune the lyre, in twenty five I composed my first song!

"My father, Dimitris Klados a shepherd from Livadia Milopotamos, met my mother Chrisoula at  Platania Amariou where they stayed permanently and had eight children. I I was born in 1925 and helped my father till I graduated from the public school. Afterwards, I was sent to learn the art of shoemaking and I practiced this till the Greek – Italian war  in 1940.

When the Germans occupied Crete in 1941my  father in order took us in a cave in Psiloritis to protect us. There, in 1942, my uncle constructed a lyre. All the other children touched it for some time out of curiosity, I was the only one to never leave it from my hands, never in my life…"

Leonidas Klados

Leonidas Klados was born in 1925, son of Dimitris Klados, a farmer from Leivadia of Mylopotamos, and Chryssoula, who had eight children in the village of Platania, Rethimnon.
Until the time he finished school, Leonidas Klados helped his father on various farming work. Then his father sent him away to learn the art of shoemaking, until the end of the Greek-Italian war. 
However, when the Germans invaded Crete in 1941, in order to protect his family, Dimitris Klados moved them into a cave in the mountain of Psiloritis, something that many families used to do at those times. This is where Leonidas met with his destiny.
In order to kill time in those lonely moments on the mountain, an uncle of Leonidas used to chop wood and make different kinds of objects, including a lyre which he gave to the children to spend their time. Every child tried to play, just out of curiosity, but Leonidas never dropped the lyre of his hands since. 
As the inherent, lonely personality of the artist obeyed him to, Leonidas used to distance himself from other children, always holding the lyre in his hands. He learned all by himself to tune it in just seventeen days and produced his first song in twenty five days! 
When the war was over, the leaders of the Resistance of the Amari County called for the whole population in order to count the victims of the war. They also called the popular artists of those times, Baxevanis and Lagos, to play music and relief the people living in the area from the atrocities of the war.
When Leonidas Klados was informed about the event, he decided to go to the meeting point and to get to know the two great artists, without letting his parents know of his plans. 
This day proved to be his first ever public performance, a performance which the people enjoyed greatly. The very same night Baxevanis decides to invite Leonidas to follow him and this how started a collaboration which lasted for a year and a half. Leonidas Klados decided to play his lyre professionally, only upon the completion of his military obligations, which lasted for twenty nine months.

Full text (in Greek) of the authentic narrations of the Great Masters of Cretan music in STIGMES magazine no 68 and 81


 

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