Metamorfosen: Song and Dance from Northern Greece (1928-1958)

thu 31 jul 2014
Theme: World Music

Friday August 1 in Metamorfosen between 17:00 and 18:00: Song and Dance from Epirus: the North-West of Greece with recordings made between 1928 and 1958.

Demotic music of Greece, i.e., song and dance of the volk and the village, presents itself largely as a rustic, primal counterpart to laîki or urban popular music, such as rembetika. What sets melodious expressions from Northern Greece, Epirus, apart from virtually all other demotic music is its primordial intensity and its chthonic and communal purpose. I say chthonic since these melodies, rhythms, and lyrics manifest themselves both as overwhelming fecundities of life as well as stark reminders of death…the last stop. This music celebrates life and mourns death in the distinct point where the two inter- sect: chthonios. I say communal since much of this music served to heal and calm its partici- pants. Either through listening or participating in the dances, the admirable people of Epirus share in the very discreet act of catharsis as a collective whole and converge on a higher plateau of harmony and vitality.

Intrinsically pastoral in nature, the instrumental music of Epirus is likely sourced from the Sarakatsani, a semi-nomadic population that scoured thousands of acres a year to feed their sheep. Songs were tools for living and what better way to live than to learn from your flock, to harmonize with the deep tones found in the countryside.


For complete information please consult the programme guide