Both movements of this work began as transcriptions of recorded performances by two of Greece’s living master-musicians, clarino player Manos Achalinotopoulos and percussionist Vagelis Karypis. The Transcriptions are based on two separate recordings of a traditional taximi entitled Kartsigar. Taximia form part of an oral tradition in which improvisation played an important role. Songs would begin with an instrumental prelude, the taximi, where a musican showed off his prowess. This set the mood for the song to follow, and could last for as long as twenty minutes.
The taximi Kartsigar comprises two elements, an ostinato and the improvised melody. The melody forms the basis of the first movement of the quartet, and the ostinato forms the basis of the second.