On August 13, 1978, remembrance day of the holocaust of Anogia 1944, Manos Hatzidakis, who was invited by George Klados, Mayor of that period, wrote a document entitled “The Rise of Anogeia“.

“Rise of Anogeia, means a respectable distance from Heraklion that unfolds an imaginary mainland which is blowed by African winds and brightened by an endless Mediterranean light. An upward route that wherever you stand, you see the valleys poured endlessly into the seas and mountains across, love n’ embrace your shadow. And Lyra races means to be, gathering Lyra players from everywhere in the country, in an uninterruptible and kind event which begins five in the afternoon and ends later than one after midnight. And therein, after this team outbreak, rewarded is the one that his skill and his deep feeling will unfold improvised meanders, that will contain the tradition alive, while aiming the future. That will reveals secrets.

Anogeia live for two days a unique music experience. Without officials and formal ceremonies, without unsavoury speeches, in the village square, where is shown a naked imagination, inspiration and musical sensitivity of a whole people. The Cretan people. And of an island. Of Creta.  

When you live continuously and daily the misery of Athens, with the formal urban erosion, then the Rise of Anogeia is like the Rise of Champs Elysées. And when the “serious” art, formal and famous, becomes art for the dead, for abusers and enemies, for carnivorous talentless, art for crime syndicates,  the Cretan Lyra, that has deep roots, seems immortal source of holy water that quench  thirst of centuries.

In Anogeia everything is real. No plastic or substitutes. There is stone, wood, color and green of the Earth. Kindness by nature and not by feasibility. Water and woven with difficult and tangled weaving, but with a divinely simple result. There are people intensively written, as if they came to the world yesterday. There is their voice. Proudly, not indiscreet loud. To be heard across, in the following land or at both ends of the island. Anogeia is the Cretan look, that Kazantzakis said. The depth power, of God – that Christians said. Only in Crete this memory works so dramatically and selects the material to sow the Future.

Anogeia have a Mayor that you do not expect. A mayor who does not aspire to become Minister of Culture. But has much more to do with culture than entire ministry has. He owns the dream of Lyra races and… look, this year we have the second race.

What is important, is to turn our music education outside the error of conservatories and idiot musics, that give a desperate picture to what we used to call music. And Lyra races are a promising beginning and a spur in the future to get used to listen music, not emotional, as was done until today, but with the heart along with the mind. To learn to follow the melodious development as a concept which unfolds revealing and deeply concerns us as Greeks and as citizens of today. To learn to listen music and not consequential embarrassment, without talent symphonic seriousnesses. The Anogeia Lyra races is a Greek start, for Music.”

This vision of music and cultural Greek reality, watered all of us, who lived close to the proposal of Manos Hatzidakis and established our attitude towards culture and art. In Anogeia began a cultural springtime that until today has given many appreciable fruits. In 1998, Giorgos Dramountanis (Loudovikos of Anogeia) and a team of good friends inspired about Yakinthia, cultural events that would be from now on every year in July. As noted in the first document of Yakinthia, the informal support of the initiative committee are important people, such as: Nikos Koundouros, Costas Tsoklis Maro Vamvounaki, George Grammatikakis, Serapheim Fyntanidis, Kostas Zouraris, Yannis Smaragdis, Theodore Roussopoulos, etc. That same year Bishop of Rethymno, Anthimos, placed the foundation stone of the church of St. Hyacinth.

First Yakinthia was dedicated to Manos Hatzidakis remembrance …