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A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek

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George Papavgeris 20 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 20 Oct 06 - 05:13 PM
George Papavgeris 20 Oct 06 - 05:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Oct 06 - 05:51 PM
George Papavgeris 20 Oct 06 - 06:03 PM
Peace 20 Oct 06 - 06:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Oct 06 - 06:17 PM
George Papavgeris 20 Oct 06 - 06:38 PM
MoorleyMan 20 Oct 06 - 07:24 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Oct 06 - 11:21 PM
JennyO 21 Oct 06 - 12:13 AM
The Villan 21 Oct 06 - 03:23 AM
The Villan 21 Oct 06 - 03:37 AM
M.Ted 21 Oct 06 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 21 Oct 06 - 08:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Oct 06 - 08:57 PM
George Papavgeris 22 Oct 06 - 07:20 PM
George Papavgeris 22 Oct 06 - 07:22 PM
Herga Kitty 22 Oct 06 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Strollin' Johnny at the Mill 23 Oct 06 - 07:58 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Oct 06 - 08:13 AM
M.Ted 23 Oct 06 - 11:10 AM
Wolfgang 23 Oct 06 - 02:38 PM
Dave Hanson 24 Oct 06 - 08:07 AM
George Papavgeris 24 Oct 06 - 09:16 AM
Lanfranc 24 Oct 06 - 07:51 PM
Lanfranc 24 Oct 06 - 08:03 PM
M.Ted 25 Oct 06 - 01:39 AM
George Papavgeris 25 Oct 06 - 04:02 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Oct 06 - 04:05 AM
M.Ted 26 Oct 06 - 01:40 AM
George Papavgeris 26 Oct 06 - 03:12 AM
Wilfried Schaum 26 Oct 06 - 03:17 AM
Lanfranc 26 Oct 06 - 06:41 AM
M.Ted 26 Oct 06 - 08:15 PM
Eileen Masterson 28 Oct 06 - 07:13 AM
George Papavgeris 28 Oct 06 - 07:37 AM
GUEST 28 Oct 06 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,MTed 28 Oct 06 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 28 Oct 06 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM

Written last weekend, I just recorded a rough version of it in both languages, using just my 12-string to imitate bouzouki and baghlama. Called An Emigrant's Rebetiko (or Tis Xenitias for the Greek version), it is my first ever foray into the genre. To listen to it, go to http://www.myspace.com/georgepapavgeris.

And I have to own up - the idea came from a statement that Gabriel Doyle (http://www.myspace.com/gabrieldoyle) made about living "where the Thames flows into the Mediterranean..."; such a strong image, I had to do something with it.

Please let me know what you think - good or bad.

keep singing

George Papavgeris (aka El Greko)


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:13 PM

I didn't notice that was a link to MurdochSpace until it was too late and the damn thing took off downloading god knows how many pictures of Friends of Murdoch.

I couldn't see any link to your song in all that clutter.

Got a link that doesn't detour through the world of tits, bums and Thatcherism?


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:17 PM

Try this for the English version and this for the Greek one.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:51 PM

Impressive. And it's good to hear a song about the complexity of being an emigrant/immigrant.

I hope you're not planning to leave us George...


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 06:03 PM

Not any time soon, Kevin... But one day perhaps, who knows? Australia beckons...


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Peace
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 06:16 PM

George, I love it. It's added to my favourites and I'll be listening to it again, and again, and . . . .


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 06:17 PM

If the Shannon River joined the Brisbane Waters
And Killarneys lakes flowed into Botany Bay
If the Shandons Bells rang out in old Fremantle
And County Cork in Adelaide did appear
Erin's sons would never roam, all the boys would stay at home
If we only had old Ireland over here


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Subject: LYR ADD:An emigrant's Rebetiko - George Papavgeris
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 06:38 PM

Indeed - snap, Kevin! While we're at it, here are the (English) lyrics:

An emigrant's Rebetiko - George Papavgeris, October 2006

The time is coming soon when I should be deciding
Whether for good here to remain, or move away;
For from a friend like you there is no point in hiding,
I have some reasons to leave here, and some to stay.
That such a day would come for me I always knew it;
Ever since I left home to find my fortune here.
And hand on heart I have to own up that I blew it
And cannot make my mind up now which way to steer.

Though many homes I had, for me each place is alien,
And though familiar, every sight and smell is wrong;
Where father Thames flows into the Mediterranean,
And eucalyptus fills the air, there I belong.

It is no good to say that home is where the heart is,
Not when the heart itself is torn so many ways.
If I could swing it, I I would buy the Doctor's Tardis
And I would visit times and places all my days.
For heart's capacity for love is never ending.
The more you love the more you fall to others' spells;
And soon enough you find it is no use pretending:
Wherever you may be, you wish for somewhere else

Though many homes I had, for me each place is alien,
And though familiar, every sight and smell is wrong;
Where father Thames flows into the Mediterranean,
And eucalyptus fills the air, there I belong.

So for my problem now I know there's no solution
And you can't help me, though in this you played your part;
My crime is heavy and there is no absolution,
For I allowed no borders to control my heart.
It is a curse that's not my own but shared by many,
Who chose like me to let their hearts too far to roam.
So when you ask to hear my thoughts now for a penny,
Ask me instead how many miles from here to home.

Though many homes I had, for me each place is alien,
And though familiar, every sight and smell is wrong;
Where father Thames flows into the Mediterranean,
And eucalyptus fills the air, there I belong.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 07:24 PM

Well George, as for a "first foray", well - "Foray's a jolly good fellow (x3)... and so say all of us!"


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 11:21 PM

"If I could swing it, I I would buy the Doctor's Tardis"

Aye Aye George! A Naughty-ical man are you!


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: JennyO
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 12:13 AM

Australia beckons...

YES PLEASE!!!

George, just ignore what I said in the email about needing a translation. It's all here. Thanks!

Jenny


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 03:23 AM

Great stuff George. Looking forward to tonight at Gainsborough Folk Festival

Take care driving up.

Les


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 03:37 AM

By the way George, if you haven't already started the journey up, make sure you do Empty Handed tonight or I will pelt you with Rotten eggs and tomatoes. :-) Can't get it out of my head since Breezy sang it at MRFC the other week.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 07:37 PM

A good song--done well. I like it better in Greek--more of the dance feel. and, as you know, rebetic tunes are dance tunes--and you have more emotion in your voice, which is very important--

I think you should think about writing more in this style--I think there is an audience for it--though perhaps not in the UK--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 08:21 PM

What was rembetiko about it?

I know mainly the pre-WW2 stuff (Roza Eshkenazy et al) and it doesn't sound *anything* like that.

Have the defining ideas of the genre changed that much in Greece, i.e. would this song now be seen as mainstream modern rembetiko there?


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Oct 06 - 08:57 PM

greek-oriental rebetica-songs & dances in the asia minor style:the golden years 1911-1037 - with lots of sound files. (Unfortunately my PC won't play them), including three by Roza Ehkenazy,


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 07:20 PM

Jack, I can sympathise, because I played a little trick; but it would be recognised as a contemporary rebetiko, indeed it has already been recognised as such by a couple of Greek rebetiko groups in New Jersey and Melbourne plus some friends in Greece, so I feel safe in asserting that.

Rebetiko, as far as I know, is defined by the time signature (9/8), the beat (accent on 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9), the subject (crimes of passion, imprisonment, emigration, drugs, underworld and of course "lurve") and the language (liberal use of slang terms, no fancy literary convolutions, tell-it-like-it-is).

The trick I played, on purpose and in order to "sucker in" the untrained listener, was to de-emphasise the beat in verse 1; and to use a couple of chord sequences in the 2nd half of the verse that would be more reminiscent of other musical forms (even some western ballads) - but chord sequences don't define rebetiko, indeed traditional rebetiko uses chord changes very sparingly to say the least.

Ah, Roza Eshkenazy was THE traditional rebetiko voice of course. But the genre has moved quite a bit post-WW2, with Sotiria Bellou a major exponent until the 80s. And all the time new songs are written in the style, sometimes with more contemporary subjects.

One nice thing about the Greek music scene is that the various styles, be they traditional or regional or whatever, while revered, are not "locked", but people still write in them, and also occasionally feel free to mix them; the concept of "don't touch this, it is traditional, and you should do it in such a way only" doesn't exist.

This makes the scene very vibrant and produces some astonishing results (Dionyssis Sovopoulos' "Let the dances continue" comes to mind, a song that mixes 3-4 different styles and has become a firm favourite with Greeks of all ages and a mini-showcase of what the Greeks themselves enjoy about their various music styles).


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 07:22 PM

Sorry, I spelled Dionyssis' surname wrong; it is Savopoulos.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 07:38 PM

Shame on you George Papivgeras...!

Vowel play, and all.

Kitty

xx


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST,Strollin' Johnny at the Mill
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 07:58 AM

An excellent song George - enjoyed it greatly when you sang it yesterday afternoon at the Gainsborough Festival. It helps that I love Greece and her people, and it evoked memories of wonderful times spent on holiday in her Islands.

S:0)
Johnny

PS - thanks for your compliment elsewher re 'The Fallen of Fulstow', much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 08:13 AM

That's a winner George.

Now for my 'evaluation fee'....


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:10 AM

The basic rhythm for Rebetikos is the Hassapiko, which, basically is Zorba's Dance--For some informationMatt Barrett's Rembetiko/Greek Music Page If you want to hear some non-George Stuff, check thisRebetis at live365


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 02:38 PM

A very fine song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 08:07 AM

For the uninitiated George, ie. ME, what is a rebetiko ? and what does the word mean?

eric


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:16 AM

It's a particular type of (Greek) song. Its history goes roughly as follows:

The Ottoman empire was dissolved in the early 1900s, and in 1921-2, Greece made an ill-advised and abortive attempt to recreate the "Greater Greece" (Byzantium) by re-conquering parts of today's Turkey including "Konstantinople" (Istanbul), Smyrna (Izmir) and a number of places in Asiatic Turkey, or Asia Minor as it was referred to; and trying to "liberate" the ethnically Greek populations that lived there especially in seaside towns on the Mediterranean or on the northern coast of Turkey, on the Black Sea (or "Pontos"). Anyway, the attempt ended with Greece being soundly defeated, and in tha aftermath there was a hasty exchange of populations: Greeks living in Turkey repatriated to Greece and the reverse. It needs to be pointed out that those "expatriate Greeks" had lived in Turkey for anything up to 2-3,000 years, and the "expatriate Turks" had lived in northern Greece for at least 1,000 years. In other words, it was quite a wrench - though necessary from the newly formed Turkish republic's point of view.

So, Greece was overrun quickly by expatriate Greeks from Asia Minor (commonly referred to as "Pontian Greeks"; these people brought with them their customs (some mixed with Turkish ones), their language (zealously preseved so that it resembled ancient Greek) and their music (definitely influenced by their Turkish and Ottoman neighbours). They also brought with them some instruments hitherto unknown in Greece, such as the bouzouki.

Nowadays it is recognised that Pontian Greeks have always been hard working and also very bright, but at the time Greece could not assimilate such an influx of refugees, so some joined the thriving underworld in Greece (temporarily giving a bad name to all Pontian refugees). Being bright they quickly became masters of it, and their entertainment (and music) was tarred by the same brush, so that it was thought as the music of the underworld. Indeed, possession of a baghlama (a mini-bouzouki) became illegal, and the police would confiscate and break them - but the offenders were quick to replace them with new ones, fashioned out of any piece of wood they could get hold of. The songs they sang - and wrote - would talk of their problems with the police, of imprisonment, of how hard it was to get hasheesh, of fate giving them its rough edge while others lorded it, of love and expatriation. Within a few years they had fashioned the genre of "rebetiko", which really was a mix of the music they brought from Asia Minor with the themes they were writing about. I don't know where the term comes from, but I do know that "rebettis" referred to a gangland "heavy" who fought hard and played hard.

The genre thrived, gaining popularity amongst the rest of the Greeks, and diverging from typical Asia Minor music mainly because of its themes, but also because it increasingly used more and more bouzouki (easier to play and to make) and less and less fiddle or other instruments. By the time of WW2 some rebetiko songs would use exclusively bouzouki.

During the German occupation (1941-1945) the Greek populace turned even more to rebetiko song as a medium for rebellion against the occupying forces and weaving all sorts of allegories into their lyrics. One of the best rebetiko songs ever, known and loved by every Greek, is "Cloudy Sunday" (Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki) by Manolis Tsitsanis. It was written in 1942 (or -3, don't remember for certain), when Athenians were dying on the strees from starvation, and was held to have a number of references to that fact (though they are so oblique as to be unrecognisable, and Tsitsanis never admitted to it). Others were written during the 1945-47 Greek Civil War (between Britain-supported royalists and Tito-supported communists).

Through to the early 1960s, it was still considered a lesser form of entertainment and received no support from the various arts bodies, yet it continued gaining popularity. By the late 60s it broke through into the mainstream and a lot of the old recordings of artists such as Roza Eskenazy were re-issued (though it has to be pointed out that Eshkenazy did not sing exclusively "rebetiko" songs, she was rather a singer of Asia Minor music that included some "rebetiko" in her repertoire.)

In the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s the grand dame of rebetiko was Sotiria Bellou, a woman who had been there and done that, with a voice of one thousand cigarettes and ten thousand joints - and several barrels of wine -, who became as romantic a figure in Greece as Edith Piaf had been in France (but without the looks, I have to say). She is still played regularly on radio, and her recording in the 70s of a "new" rebetiko by Dionyssis Savopoulos ("Me aeroplana kai vaporia" - "With aeroplanes and ships", about the changing world) became a classic, in many ways "out-classicking" the old ones.

M.Ted's entry above alerted me to the fact that I gave some slightly misleading info: I referred to the 9/8 rhythm as being characteristic, and he referred to "Hasapiko", which is a different one; in fact, we are both right and wrong: Both of those rhythms exist in rebetiko, which borrowed elements from the music of Asia Minor. Indeed, some of the earlier rebetiko songs would have been 8/8 or 11/8, but 9/8 gained in popularity over time, so that most of the new rebetiko songs written nowadays follow that.

A modern rebetiko could be about drinking and drugs, about government and politicians, about poverty or emigration. It would be danced singly (not in pairs or a circle). It would have complaint and defiance in it. It would use bouzouki and its variants, though no longer exclusively. The chances are it would use a 9/8 rhythm (though again not exclusively). And it would pose as a song of the downtrodden (increasingly difficult nowadays).


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Lanfranc
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 07:51 PM

As one of the few Englishmen who actually owns (and plays, after a fashion) a baghlama (a sort of infant bouzouki), I would love to try to master the rebetiko well enough to use it to accompany this song.

Alternatively, if you would like to borrow it, George, you'd be welcome.

We must get over to Storbans or Herga one day soon. Planning to be at Storbans for Brimmo on 19th Nov, though after three days of Ashwell, my voice may well be a bit knackered.

Alan


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Lanfranc
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 08:03 PM

Listening again while reading this thread through from top to bottom has been an interesting and educational experience. I love Greece and its people and have spent many happy days there. There was a bar in Porto Heli that played rebetiko tapes, but I could never find them in the shops that I got to. "Who Pays the Ferryman", "Never on a Sunday" and "Zorba the Greek" was about all tourists were offered.

The baghlama I actually bought in Malta although it was made in Italy! I also have a Turkish baglama saz, which is similar only insofar as it also has six strings - it's about ten times the size of its Greek namesake.

Now listening for the third time in English (plus once in Greek for atmosphere!), I am increasingly impressed. It's a brilliant song!

Bravo George

Alan


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 01:39 AM

The 9/8 rhythm is zeibekikos, the slow dance that is done by a solitary dancer--not to be confused with the the fast 9/8, which is karsilama, and every greek, turkish, armenian club band plays Rampi, Rampi as often, or more often, than they play Miserlou--

Anyway, I think that there were more Greek refugees from Smyrna than from the Black Sea, and there were at least an equal number who fled from the Anatolian Plateau--interestingly, the term "rebetiko" seems first to have been used in the US--and Greek music (and rebetikos) were first commercially recorded in the US--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 04:02 AM

The sacking of Smyrna was certainly the biggest (and Smyrna at the time was very large city, probably with the greatest concentration of Greeks outside Athens itself) and the harbour scenes with people trying to get to the ships were well documented. But the Pontos area with cities like Samsun, Trabzon and Surmene held the descendants of the 10,000 soldiers whose arrival there was documented by Xenophon, who over the centuries must have grown to a sizeable number. Certainly today, it seems to me that more people refer to themselves as being of Pontian rather than Asia Minor descend (but I have no stats to back this, it's just a qualitative observation).

Even my long post above was not enough to mention all relevant details, of course. The "pristine Greek" language was the isolated Pontian's of course, while those from the Med coast or the Anatolian plateau were using quite a lot of Turkish (indeed, some even exclusively). Many of the latter, when expelled from Turkey in 1922 couldn't understand why - they spoke Turkish and felt like Turks. Sure, they had Greek surnames and were Christians, but no less Turks for that, in their own minds. Their great-great-great grandparents were buried in their villages; why did their own country no longer recognise them?

The Pontians specifically brought across their own music and dances, again the closest thing to the ancient greek equivalent we have today, because of that isolation - it was the Med and Istanbul Greeks that brought the zeibekikos and other rhythms that resulted in rebetiko; however, by that time all refugees were (incorrectly) referred to as Pontians, so things got confused.

There is a wonderful book written about those times and about the rise of Kemal Ataturk (a most amazing individual that is still revered throughout Turkey, and rightly so) and the creation of the Turkish Republic. It is Birds Without Wings (2004) by Louis de Bernieres, shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Novel Award and it cuts through the propaganda of both sides to the real events and feelings among the ordinary people.

It is amazing to think that all those events and the forced re-mixing of populations (and the cultural output that resulted from it) are less than 100 years old - which is why "rebetiko" is not considered "traditional"; it certainly can't compete in terms of age with some of the mainland songs and tunes that are easily 2-300 years old.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 04:05 AM

Thank you George.

eric


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 01:40 AM

Thanks for the book recommendation, George, I just ordered it.

I am very familiar with Pontic music and dance--there is/was a Church near me in Philly with a large Pontic contingent, and they had an excellent performing dance company that centered around an also excellent lyra player. I am aware that it is claimed that the music is, as you say, akin to the ancient greek, but, the Turks and Armenians of the area play the same music, and (at least from my recollection, since I haven't heard any of it in years) it seems very similar to the music of Turkic tribes of farther to the east--admittedly an impression, rather than an analysis--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 03:12 AM

To be honest, M.Ted, I am only reiterating that claim myself, without being able to prove it either way. That claim is made daily by the Domna Samiou dancing troupes, however (she is the nearest thing we have to Cecil Sharp in Greece, but I wonder if she had been as diligent as C# in her collecting tours).

Isn't Pontian dancing stirring though? To see the men in those weird black clothes with flashes of yellow fiercely stomping their steps in unison and making the ground shake, it gets me in the stomach. And as an aside, the way they shout to each other the next variation in the dance reminds me a little of some Morris sides.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 03:17 AM

Please let me know what you think - good or bad

Good


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Lanfranc
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 06:41 AM

Pursuant to my status as a Yorkshireman of Jewish and Scottish ancestry, I've borrowed "Birds Without Wings" from the library. It's a good thick volume, so I may be some time.....

Alan


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 08:15 PM

I hadn't thought of it before, but there are some Morris elements there--my old Balkan music cohorts would shudder at the comparison, but only because Morris sides are not exotic enough for them--

Offhanded claims that this music and that dance have been passed down from ancient times are easy to make and very hard to prove. There are a thousand years of Byzantine Culture and five hundred years of Ottoman culture that have transpired in Asia Minor (and Greece, for that matter) since "ancient" times, broken up by many invasions, and one tends to think that these were the determinates in Pontic music and dance--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: Eileen Masterson
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 07:13 AM

M Ted said "I think you should think about writing more in this style--I think there is an audience for it--though perhaps not in the UK-- "

We would be an audience, George!

Well done! Love it! we don't hear enough of this in the UK.


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 07:37 AM

I had a thought the last couple of days, probably subconsciously driven by what M.Ted said: Perhaps I could put together a string of songs based on various different Greek music styles, but sometimes with more contemporary themes and all with English lyrics. With this song and Tsamiko I have two for a start. Vassiliki and There Will Be Dancing can be added to the mix to make four. Johnny Don't Go Walking makes five. Perhaps if I included something in the Epirus, Thrace, Macedonian, Cretan Rizitiko & Mantinada, Ionian and even Byzantine hymn styles that could make a useful set for an album. It would feel (for me) good to have the various different music styles made easier to assimilate for western ears, while still having something that is palatable to Greeks. And I know what I'd call it in Greek at least: "Na katalavenomaste", slang for "So that we understand each other". Perhaps "Common ground" might be a decent English title.

Whether this happens or not, thanks for the support, folks!


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 12:37 PM

Pull something together and bring it to the US--you could play for both Greek and Folk audiences--even better, you could pull together some musicians from here--it would certainly qualify as unique--and there'd be a lot of interest, both from audiences and musicians--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST,MTed
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 12:38 PM

That was me--


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Subject: RE: A new Rebetiko in both English & Greek
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 01:44 PM

George's idea of a Greek-themed collection sounds like a knockout idea.

I haven't heard another song that dealt with the condition of being a permanent emigre from everywhere in the way this one does. As I'm in the same category (albeit without shifting language) it made a lot of sense. BTW, there is a beautiful film around the same idea: Raul Ruiz's "Three Crowns for the Sailor" - the climactic scene is one where the hero manages to get everyone he's ever been close to in any seaport anywhere in the world all together in the same bar. And they have nothing to say to each other - the evening passes in total stony silence.

Neal Ascherson's "Black Sea" has a lot to say about the Pontic Greeks. They got a lot further than I'd realized before reading it, and their emigration is probably still going on - the last big wave was when many of them fled from Abkhazia during its war of independence in the 1990s, having been an established community there for at least a thousand years. With Abkhazia turning into a free-fire zone between Russia and Georgia they don't have much to go back home to.


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