Jun 1, 2014

Sunday Beats | Greek-Albanian Folk Dirges

**Creative Sunday Series

A few weeks ago, I came across Christopher King and his collection of rare records when reading a piece on long lost blues musicians Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas and their only surviving record "Last Kind Word Blues". Recently, I checked out his Long Gone "How the Other Half Hears" Series (via) on Easter European, Balkan and Mediterranean musics - and found it to be an awesome source of lost pre-war sounds.

Here's a glimpse of a few featured stories/sounds:

Albanian Traditional Music: An Introduction, with Sheet Music and Lyrics for 48 Songs.
By Spiro J. Shetuni. McFarland & Company, 2011. Sheet Music, Lyrics, Bibliography.
Folk music from Albania, particularly from the Central and Southern regions of the country, is rightly characterized as otherworldly, sublime, and in many instances, incongruent with practically all other European and Baltic musical expressions. The distinction is so great between Albanian music and music from surrounding areas that adjectival descriptors are sometimes tortured in relation to their referents. [...] The only melodious expression that is similar to the song and dance of Central and Southern Albania is the repertoire of Northern Greece, Epirus. 
Geographic isolation is the main reason why the music of Central and Southern Albania (and Northern Greece) is so distinctly different from the rest of the Baltic and surrounding European countries. 
Shetuni divides Albanian folk music into roughly four different dialects (broad styles) that have specific geographic locations and boundaries. Gheg traditional music is found in Northern Albania (Ghegëri), Tosk music is located in Central and Southern Albania (Toskëri), Lab music is found in Southern Albania (Labëri), and Urban music is found in the more densely populated cities throughout Albania. Crucially noted by Shetuni is the fact that Gheg music is almost exclusively monophonic and Tosk, Lab and Urban are primarily polyphonic and instruments normally accompany Gheg and Urban music whereas Tosk and Lab are almost always a cappella. Besides discussing the various sub-dialects and styles found in various villages and regions within a dialect, Shetuni goes to great lengths to describe each stylistic variation based on what he calls core structural groupings.
Five Days Married & Other Laments Song and Dance from Northern Greece 1928-1958

Beyond Rembetika: The Music & Dance of The Region of Epirus


Years of research and obsession have resulted in this, the first collection of recordings by the legendary and masterful Greek folk violinist Alexis Zoumbas. Very few pre-war musicians have tapped deeper into the human soul than Zoumbas and this volume presents his most profoundly hypnotic and unearthly pieces. - via 


1 comment:

Joel said...

Hey, I had a great time reading your website. Do you have an email address that I can contact you on? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.