Happy Valentine’s day everyone and as it’s all about lurve I thought it appropriate to add a love song for you to check out. Greek of course… There is no one that does melancholy better than the Greeks and of course the word itself is Greek so what do we expect, they invented it!!! There is something in me that is very melancholic and Greek “soul” music or rembetica hits the spot. Rembetica started as the underground music of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor. About two million Greeks were uprooted from their homeland in Anatolia around 1922 and exiled to Greece, when the Ottoman Empire broke up and the Republic of Turkey was established. Please check out the Wikipedia link on the right for more information, if you re interested.
I remember when we first got a record player in our house, a good old Dansette and my dad went out and bought some Greek records. The music sounded very alien to me and I found a lot of it very jarring on the ear. But… there were some that resonated and it was those wailing long drawn out notes of the likes of Yiota Lydia that seemed to reach inside me and find those little dark broody places that responded. I still love her voice and I suppose it reminds me of my younger days and the early trips I made to Cyprus. The music conjures up for me a feeling of the Middle East, the rhythms and sounds redolent of Egyptian & Arabic music. When I took up Egyptian Dance classes some years ago I immediately felt at home.
There is a link on the right to a really interesting article on rembetika with a wealth of information on various artists that you might like to check out if you’re interested.
A very popular modern Greek singer called George Dalaras has brought out a modern working of some of the old rembetika songs on an album called Ta Rembetika Tis Katohis Album. There are those familiar and well loved plinkety plink sounds of bazouki that just make you want to say oooopah!