Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rebetiko is a benign bacillus...

Rebetiko is like a benign bacillus. Once you get it - in a right way - you never get rid of it. It angles in your mind and heart and it breeds... The critical point is to avoid to get wedged in a certain group of songs and a narrow point of view. Unfortunately, most people do it. I had a friend who was playing on his guitar exactly the same songs, during a period of 20 years!

"There has been a tendency (and is still actual...) to concentrate on the so-called "Piraeus rebetika", which are perceived by many to be the genuine performances, the "rebetika high" of Gail Holst and others. For them, the music of the Anatolian refugees was merely a pubescent version of what was to follow, rather than a musical and cultural tradition in its own right" (Concepts of Greekness: The recorded Music of Anatolian Greeks after 1922, by Nicholas G. Pappas)

Nobody knows the exact number of the recorded rebetika but it is for sure that it is bigger than 20.000 songs.
(to be continued)

Τwo new CD's

"...As a primarily self-taught singer, Mavrothi has been deeply influenced by performers such as Antonios Dalgas and Hafiz Kemal, and also by Byzantine chant. He has studied under some of the most revered contemporary oud players in the world, and when performing combines the emotive phrasing and ornamentation of older players with some of the more modern techniques heard in Greece and Turkey today. The talented musicians featured alongside Mavrothi are a mix of Greeks and Americans who share a strong passion for this music and worked extremely hard to preserve the authenticity of the traditional pieces in the recordings, enriching Mavrothi’s own compositions as well. Lefteris Bournias is one of the most well-known and admired clarinet players in the US and Greece, and his fiery yet subtle playing leaves you wanting more at the end of each of his featured tracks. On violin, Megan Gould shines sweetly, reminding us of how the violin was played nearly a century ago in Greece. The gentle playing of Anastassia Zachariadou on the kanun and Phaedon Sinis on politiki lyra (kemence) are lovely combinations of older and newer styles. On percussion, Timothy Quigley personifies subtlety and sensitivity, playing on a range of traditional instruments..."