72 yr-old Psarantonis, born Antonis Xylouris, is the brother of singer Nikos Xylouris, who became a symbol of resistance against the Greek Dictatorship (1967-1974).
He was born in 1942, and grew up in a village razed to the ground by the German occupation army, which relied on its rich musical tradition to recover from the war. He left Anogia, in his 40’s, gradually gaining wider recognition. But as if afraid to lose sight of his roots, he settled down nearby, in Herakleion, the capital of Crete.
He has reinvented Cretan music, claiming inspiration by the nature and landscape of Anogia, and has a cult following in Greece and abroad (including rock icon Nick Cave).
Ignoring old age, he wakes up daily to practice and continues to take part in concerts across the world.
Psarantonis has five sons and daughters.
The Eldest Son & his Australian wife
George Xylouris, or Psarogiorgis, is in his 50’s and lives near his father, in Herakleion. He met his wife, Shelagh, in Melbourne, Australia, on a concert tour and formed the Xylouris Ensemble.
A leading performer of Crete’s traditional music, George plays lute and sings, following in the footsteps of his father and uncles. George is also a seasoned concert performer internationally.
Georges’ wife, Shelagh, comes from an Australian family of musicians with Irish roots. She is the 'pillar of the family', helping to bring the different generations together.
George Xylouris’ sons, Nick & Antonis, are 20 and 18 yrs old. Their father initiated them to Cretan music at a very early age.
Nick plays lyra and tombak. He moved to Melbourne at 16, imbibing the Cretan and Irish music played by his family, flavoured with strong doses of AC/DC. Enrolled in RMIT’s Bachelor of Music and Sound Production, Nick is exploring electronic music and admires producers like Deadmau5, Tiesto and Afrojack.
Antonis plays lute and mandolin, and like his siblings has grown up with opportunities to play professionally from a young age. While he completes his secondary schooling in Melbourne, he is playing regularly with Xylouris Ensemble members, composing electronic music with his brother and honing his DJ-ing skills.
Nick and Antonis will have to decide whether to return to Crete and face the declining prospects at home, or to remain in Australia.
Apollonia is 16 years old and travelled to Australia in January 2013, to start secondary school in Melbourne. She plays tombak, which she has been learning from the brilliant Persian master player Pedram Khavarzamini. She also sings, and is learning violin, as well as Irish tunes in the family home.
But the Xylouris family has many more members, accomplished musicians who uphold the traditon of Cretan music and follow their own creative paths.
Psarandonis' other children, musicians Niki and Lambis Xylouris, are acknowledged in singing and composition respectively.
The Xylouris legacy is also continued and enriched by the younger generation as well: the children of Psarandonis' daughters, Maria and Eleftheria, Antonis and Giorgos Stivaktakis and Stavros Tzanis.
|Hellenic Film Academy Award and FIPA D’ORA Family Affair picks up two prestigious international awards||Cinema Premiere in GreeceThe film premieres in Athens on January 8, 2015.||Kickstarting the film's soundtrackSupport us to create our soundtrack and outreach campaign||"A Family Affair" Kickstarter campaignA FAMILY AFFAIR has been successfully funded on Kickstarter!||"A Family Affair" at “Docs in Progress” A FAMILY AFFAIR participated at the “Docs in Progress” during the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.|