Yannis Despotakis

Photo by Fabio Dondero

Born (naturally) in Athens/Greece. His origins lay inside the triangle that unites Piraeus, Crete and Istanbul (a.k.a Konstantinoupoli). From a very young age he showed that he had great appeal with hitting and banging all kinds of surfaces, by discovering a pair of chopsticks in his mother’s kitchen. He has received clinics and lessons from many remarkable human beings, each one playing a catalytic role in his so far course of discovering his true self. Milestones throughout his so far life have been (in chronological order):

a) Amsterdam where he decides to dedicate himself into musical expression, starts becoming a sound giver-digger and not a sound receiver (a.k.a sound engineer) and starts making his first steps as a drummer, performer as well as a busker-street musician.

b) Berlin where he gets to meet with performers, improvisers and get in touch with a social current that over shook him having as a result to remain over shocked ever since .

c) Athens and Music Village in Pelion – Athens is the birthplace and base of Yiannis Despotakis and Music Village in mount Pelion is where some of the most essential things where forged and still growing stronger and stronger.

He is always trying and most of the time he manages not to be forced to do things he doesn’t want to do. He feels his soul is healthy by finding what he truly wants, because that IS. He believes that one of the things that have radically helped his psycho synthesis is getting involved for the past 12 years with traditional Mongolian singing ( a.k.a overtone singing – Khoomei ) because it purifies and crystallizes all the inner energy channels ( a.k.a chakras ) . He cooks every day and very well. In 2007 he met with the remarkable Hayden Chisholm (Nzl) and the fall inside the rabbit hole began. Since 2009, Hayden and Yiannis work strongly together. The flame is still rocking and the rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper. From early 2013 along with soul brother Don Stavrinos (Gr) they give concerts of free Biomatic (anc.greek BIOS=LIFE , experiential) improvisation as a duet or in larger ensembles. The source of their inspiration is the street and reality itself. They call it “Meating for Business”. (meatingforbusiness.tumblr.com) Along with the sister and brothers of Agios Lavrentios Brass Band – the only brass band in the world with no brass – they bomb audiences around the Earth with some global Balkan New Orleans Horn-y music. With Vago Tedosio (Gr) they have formed a duet named “Free Thraz “ ( piano, vocals, drums) through which they bring out a pure example of how the chaos theory, the quantum theory and improvisation are all blood brothers. He gives workshops regarding: a) overtone singing and vocal liberation, b) free musical improvisation. Within the continuous transformation of the „form“ he remains a continuous investigator of the true sound of his existential discoveries. Collaborations with : Antonis Anissegos ( Berlin, GR ), Savina Yannatou (GR) , James Wylie (Nzl), Zakari Frantz (Can),Sebastian Gramms (Ger),Phillip Zoubeck (AU),Fausto Sierakowski (Ita/Pol), Stathis Diamantides ( GR ), Dimitris Pantelias ( GR ), Katerina Maniou (Gr), Bastian Duncker (Ger),Norbert Stammberger(Ger) Athina Kyrousi (GR), Stelios Michas ( New York, GR ) , Michalis Katachanas(GR), Moritz Koether ( Ger. ),Yannis Anastasakis(GR), Markos Damianos ( GR ), Kyriakos Chatziioannou (Bassel – Gr ), Panos Athensplos (GR) , Petros Michalas ( Berlin, GR ) , Markus Krispel (AU ), Mathias Guerra ( Chile ) , Chrysoula Kehayioglou (GR ) ,Andrew Strain ( USA ) , Yangos Chairetis ( GR ), Agamemnon Moustakas(GR) Seminars by : Joe Zawinul, Lenny White, Rashid Ali, Steve Gadd, Garry Novak, Jeff Berlin, Paul Vertigo, Clarence Penn, Kostas Anastasiadis Studied Tabla under: Satnam Ghai (IND), Nihat Yersaloglu (TUR) Studied drums under Nikos Kapilidis (GR) Studied electric guitar under Kostas Mouzis (GR)