Colenso Books

COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Edward Lucas

A reminder about his book, 

"In this revised and updated third edition, Lucas includes a new preface on the Crimean crisis, including analysis of the dismemberment of Ukraine, and a look at the devastating effects it may have from bloodshed to economic losses. Lucas reveals the asymmetrical relationship between Russia and the West, a result of the fact that Russia is prepared to use armed force whenever necessary, while the West is not. Hard-hitting and powerful,The New Cold War is a sobering look at Russia's current aggression and what it means for the world".

Find him on Twitter:

Corfu's Music High School; Μουσικό Σχολείο Κέρκυρας

A YouTube video

Epirot (Albanian and Greek) Music and Dance in 1812-1813, Henry Holland, Travels, 1815; Albanitiko (Arvanitiko) and Romaika

Page 167:

Roving Press, Dorset Publisher

From Cyder Scribes blog

The Male Gaze and The Female Face

Corfucius posted this clever art video.

The female face in 500 years of portraiture (in three minutes).

Friday, 29 August 2014

Alexis Zoumbas on Dutch Radio

I'm listening to Zoumbas in Dorset, England, Chris King is listening in Virginia, USA, to recordings from 1926-1928. Music with the power to move mountains, crossing time and space. A great internet radio station.

Vrijdag 29 augustus 2014
22:00 - 23:00 Metamorfosen

Jaren van onderzoek en obsessie van de Amerikaanse producent Christopher King hebben geleid tot deze eerste collectie van opnamen van de legendarische meesterlijke Griekse folk violist Alexis Zoumbas. Zeer weinig vooroorlogse musici drongen zo diep door in de menselijke ziel dan Zoumbas. De opnamen die u nu zult horen behoren tot zijn diepste hypnotische en onaardse stukken.

Mijn graf is begroeid met gras, zorg er goed voor. Zorg ervoor dat je bittere tranen huilt, en misschien is dat wat me terug zal brengen. (yahsas Alexis Zoumbas) (Alexis Zoumbas) ~Amalia Bakas, “To Mina Mou Hortariase”.

Wat mede wordt onderzocht in deze plaatkeuze, is de manier waarop muziek de mensheid informeert, hoe vroeger melodische uitdrukkingen onze gereedschappen waren voor het leven, en hoe dit de diepste harmonieuze taal bemiddeld van vermeende tegenstrijdigheid tussen het geestelijke en het lichamelijke.

Opnamen van 1926 tot en met 1928, samengesteld door Christopher King,Angry Mom Records, NYC:

01. Epirotiko Mirologi (Lament From Epirus)
02. Gaitanaki (Maypole Dance)
03. Tsamiko Makedonias (Macedonian Dance)
04. Samantakas (Osman Taka)
05. Frasia
06. Shizo Rizo Mor Panagia (Pulling Apart The Lemon)
07. Kleftes (Tsamikos) (Bandit's Dance)
08. Mpil Mpil (Bil Bil: The Nightingale's Cry)
09. Alimbeis (Chief Ali)
10. Papadopoula (Priest's Daughter)
11. Syrtos Sta Dyo (Syrtos Two Step Dance)
12. Tzamara Arvanitiko (Albanian Shepherd's Tune)

Samenstelling: Martijn Comes

The Panigyri (Panegyri, Panegyris) in Greece, Ancient and Modern; The Romaika Dance; The Klarino in Greece since 1835

A Greek High School project on the subject of panigyria throughout history

See also this site

Martin Nilsson on the Ancient Greek Panegyreis
Greek Popular (Folk) Religion, by Martin P. Nilsson, 1940

Το κείμενο που ακολουθεί δημοσιεύτηκε για πρώτη φορά στην ΕΦΗΜΕΡΙΣ τον Αύγουστο του 1997.

Βασιλική Γ. Σιάσιου
"Κατά τον Martin Nilsson, στο έργο του Ελληνική Λαϊκή Θρησκεία «ένας αρχαίος Έλληνας θα αισθανόταν σα να ήταν στην πατρίδα του, αν παραβρισκόταν σ’ ένα νεότερο πανηγύρι».

Κι αλλού ο ίδιος μελετητής τονίζει: «Όποιος βλέπει σημερινό ελληνικό πανηγύρι, θυμάται αμέσως τα αρχαία. Η λατρεία είναι νέα – της Παναγίας ή κάποιου αγίου- η ζωή όμως μένει η ίδια".

"At all panegyreis there were fairs, and in some cases the fair seems to have been the chief attraction. This was apparently so at the great panegyris on the island of Delos, at which all Ionians assembled. At the panegyris of the Aetolians at Thermos there was a great fair. Moreover, it seems that a market was held at all great festivals. Aristophanes speaks of them. Sometimes the word "panegyris" signifies simply "fair." In later times special regulations were made for these fairs. A motley sort of life took place at such assemblies. The great throng of people who collected together needed shelter and food, for a panegyris lasted several days. Tents and barracks were erected. Skenein (to set up a tent or barrack) is the common word for taking part in such an assembly. Hawkers and cooks set up their booths. Jugglers and acrobats gave exhibitions. At certain sanctuaries situated in remote and desert places buildings were erected to serve as lodging houses and banquet halls.

Surely all this seems to have very little to do with religion. But the panegyreis had a religious foundation in the cult of the gods, and although they seem to be secular, they represent a side of Greek religion which should not be ignored. I may recall what I said earlier about the intimate relations between the cult of the gods and secular life in ancient Greece, relations which are of such a character that they sometimes astonish us. We are strongly under the influence of Protestant and Puritan ideas, which make a sharp division between matters pertaining to God and the affairs of our mundane life. They do not allow sacred and secular occupations to be intermingled. It is otherwise in southern Europe, and especially in Greece. Whoever has seen a modern Greek panegyreis is strongly reminded of the ancient ones. The cult is new, being that of the Panagia or some saint, but the life is the same. Tents, bowers, and booths are erected, and the people feast and make merry. Of course religion has been secularized, but this form of religion, which seems to us hardly to be religion at all, has shown an extreme tenacity. It satisfies the need which men feel to get together, to enjoy themselves, to feast, and to make merry, and likewise the need of interrupting and lighting up the monotonous course of daily life. These are social needs which should not be overlooked, and Greek religion should not be blamed because it fulfilled them. In this respect it was more lasting than in any other.

In concluding this chapter I may remark that I have treated the changes which Greek popular religion underwent from a social point of view. The increase of the population in certain towns and the life of the towns remodeled the old rustic cults and made them insufficient for the new wants which arose through the change in social conditions. The development of the power and glory of the city exalted the great gods too far above the common people. Such people needed a religion which was nearer to them, gods who could help them in the affairs of daily life, and a cult in which the emotional element had its due share. The way was opened for new gods. On the other hand Greek religion did have a social aspect. The cult of the gods provided opportunities for assembling and feasting and for mutual intercourse between people from neighboring towns and even from all Greek countries. The panegyreis were an extremely important part of Greek social life, and the service which Greek religion rendered through them should not be undervalued".

Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, 1940


The Romaika Dance (interesting text; Illustrated London News, November 20, 1858):

"In connection with these restored Olympic Games we give the accompanying Illustration of the national Greek dance the Romaika, danced by Greek fishermen. Its history has been connected with the dance invented at Delos, when Theseus came thither from Crete to commemorate the adventure of Ariadne and the Cretan Labyrinth, and the character of its movements very much corresponds with those described by Plutarch in his “Life of Theseus.”

The Oxford Patristic Greek Lexicon gives different meanings for the Panigiris: Pagan, Jewish and Christian.

In pagan usage, the word panigiris meant "festal assembly, festival; of imperial cult, at which martyrdoms took place".

In Jewish usage, it meant "of the Sabbath".

In Christian usage it meant "of a dedication-festival; of annual commemoration of saints, especially martyrs"; or, of major feasts, Easter, Annunciation, Transfiguration, Exaltation of the Cross.

It could also mean a time of rejoicing, festivity; of the entire life of the primitive church; an assembly; a market or trading-fair.

In Liddell and Scott's A Greek-English Lexicon, their dictionary of Ancient Greek, the word Panigiris is defined as "an assembly of a whole nation, a national festival, solemn assembly; holding festivals, keeping holy-days; an occasion for great markets or fairs". Later it came to mean "to make a set speech in a public assembly, to deliver a panegyric; to sound as at a festival, of flutes etc."


On the Klarino in Greece since 1835 (from Greek Folk Musical Instruments, National Bank of Greece, 1979):

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Epirot Folk-Music (Anglo-Hellenic Review article from 2006)

This is an article which I wrote in 2005. It was first published in The Anglo-Hellenic Review, no 33, Spring 2006, and soon afterwards in my book "Corfu Blues" (Ars Interpres, Stockholm, 2006). Maybe it wasn't too wide of the mark.

It was quoted in "Greece, Senses and Sensitivity, a photographic journey alongside poets and travellers" (Travel Times Publishing, 2007) :

Kostis Palamas: A Selection of Poems in Greek

A useful selection online

Kostis Palamas recites "Anatoli"

Anatoli set to music


Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
της δοξαριάς τεχνίτη
Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
και αφέντη του βιολιού

Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
Με το βιολί σου ξύπνησες
την λεβεντιά του κόσμου
Η ρωμιοσύνη μια φωτιά
μες το βιολί σου ζει

Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
τρανός είναι ο καημός μου
Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
και πιο τρανός εσύ

Γεια σου καημένε Μπαταριά
Με το βιολί σου ξύπνησες
την λεβεντιά του κόσμου
Η ρωμιοσύνη μια φωτιά
μες το βιολί σου ζει

Πουλιά της λιμνοθάλασσας
μποριάσματα μαϊστράλια
τέτοια φωνή δοξάστε την
και τέτοια δοξαριά

Dighenis, Eleftheria Arvanitaki

Chamber Music Holidays, Corfu; On Foot Holidays, Corfu and the Vikos Gorge

Two equally inspiring and very different types of holiday:

Visit the new Chamber Music Holidays website

Divertimenti in Corfu, July 2014 (an outstanding concert)

Visit the On Foot Holidays Website (Corfu and Vikos Gorge)

A report on Walking the Vikos Gorge

Kostis Palamas, The Twelve Lays of the Gipsy; Κωστής Παλαμάς - Ο Δωδεκάλογος του Γύφτου. Clarinet and Violin

The text of Palamas' poem in Greek

Reading of complete poem in Greek, on YouTube

The Violin Part 1

The Violin Part 2

Some extracts from the fine translation by George Thomson (Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1969) - but note well that Palamas uses the word Zournas (shawm), not klarino or clarinet: Thomson's decision to translate the word as clarinet is misleading. Constantine Trypanis translates it as "Gypsy trumpet" in The Penguin Book of Greek Verse.

Canto I

"...they were travellers from afar, who had been on the road
Day and night, year in, year out, for generations,
As though they had lost their way...
A people with no homeland behind them and none ahead.

Players were murmuring unspoken sorrows on their flutes.
From tambourines, trumpets, clarinets they drew torn, tormented notes."

Canto II

"I threw away the hammer, put out the furnace, and picked up a Gipsy clarinet,
And set out from country to country to be seen and heard by all, a strolling player...
all stood before me spoiling for a brawl
And clamouring for my clarinet to accompany the cabaret...

All night festivities, on with the dance!
...A host of demons is milling round the shrill music of my clarinet.
All night festivities, on with the dance...
everywhere the stranger, the spectator,
Round the whirlpool of passion I was the calm;
I was the pure spirit in the midst of confusion....


Lake Tzaravina

One day I found myself far from the bustle of the world,
Alone, beside a lake,
Without a companion, alone, myself and I.
I was gazing into the smooth expanse of water
And into the depths of my own being...
It was the great stillness of great Nature, stooping
To give ear to the great secret that had never been heard before.
A sudden temptation seized me to insult that holy silence
With a loud blast from my Gipsy clarinet.
I killed that silence....
I smashed the clarinet and flung it into the road".

Canto VII

" thing they never exchange, fruit of misfortune and melancholy.
What they have fashioned out of melody, rhythm and dreams,
That is their language, their unique, mysterious, inalienable possession-
The Gipsy musicians"

Canto IX

"I bent down and found a violin...
A rare, unique, inimitable instrument...
Strike, bow, create!
Between my hands a world is brought to birth-
O what a birth!
... you, my violin, only you exists.
There is only one speech-your voice; only one creator- I;
And the word that works miracles is music...
Bow, cut into the strings like a sword, tear them and rend them to create harmony!
Life is always brought to birth out of the wrestling of bow and string...

...from the sounds around me and the songs of my people
I wove a new music on my Gipsy violin.

And the other gipsies...
They were infuriated.
While I played on, head bent, with my bow-hand
Sweeping, burning, flying, crushing, shaping, blazing, bringing to new birth
On those four strings the blue flower of my fantasy,
Throwing my whole soul, the whole spirit of my people, into that music,-
Men and women, old and young, ran away, refused to listen,
Stopped their ears...
And they said to one another: 'Who is this fiddler,
Who instead of bringing good cheer shocks and outrages us...
Who does not see what we see nor cherish what we cherish,
Who on a happy holiday stands before us like a nightmare,
Traitor, assassin, destroyer of our national genius?
Never before has a Gipsy bow or violin produced such senseless, worthless music".

Canto XII

"Come, Gipsy, with us be first to live that last and loftiest future
On your prophetic violin!"

(Note: Palamas' Gipsy represents the poet, addressing the Greek people).

  By Lake Tzaravina

Another great poem by Palamas: Anatoli


Γιαννιώτικα, σμυρνιώτικα, πολίτικα,
μακρόσυρτα τραγούδια ἀνατολίτικα,
πῶς ἡ ψυχή μου σέρνεται μαζί σας!
Εἶναι χυμένη ἀπὸ τὴ μουσική σας
καὶ πάει μὲ τὰ δικά σας τὰ φτερά.

Σᾶς γέννησε καὶ μέσα σας μιλάει
καὶ βογγάει καὶ βαριὰ μοσκοβολάει
μία μάννα· καίει τὸ λάγνο της φιλί,
κ᾿ εἶναι τῆς Μοίρας λάτρισσα καὶ τρέμει,
ψυχὴ ὅλη σάρκα, σκλάβα σὲ χαρέμι,
ἡ λαγγεμένη Ἀνατολή.

Μέσα σας κλαίει τὸ μαῦρο φτωχολόι,
κι ὅλο σας, κ᾿ η χαρά σας, μοιρολόι
πικρὸ κι ἀργό.
Μαῦρος, φτωχὸς καὶ σκλάβος καὶ ἀκαμάτης,
στενόκαρδος, ἀδούλευτος, διαβάτης
μ᾿ ἐσᾶς κ᾿ ἐγώ.

Στὸ γιαλὸ ποὺ τοῦ φύγαν τὰ καΐκια,
καὶ τοῦ μείναν τὰ κρίνα καὶ τὰ φύκια,
στ᾿ ὄνειρο τοῦ πελάου καὶ τ᾿ οὐρανοῦ,
ἄνεργη τὴ ζωὴ νὰ ζοῦσα κ᾿ ἔρμη,
βουβός, χωρὶς καμιᾶς φροντίδας θέρμη,
μὲ τόσο νοῦ,

ὅσος φτάνει σὰ δέντρο γιὰ νὰ στέκει
καὶ καπνιστὴς μὲ τὸν καπνὸ νὰ πλέκω
δαχτυλιδάκια γαλανά·
καὶ κάποτε τὸ στόμα νὰ σαλεύω
κι ἀπάνω του νὰ ξαναζωντανεύει
τὸν καημὸ ποὺ βαριὰ σᾶς τυραννᾷ.

Κι ὅλο ἀρχίζει, γυρίζει, δὲν τελειώνει,
καὶ μία φυλὴ ζῇ μέσα σας καὶ λιώνει.
Καὶ μία ζωὴ δεμένη σπαρταρᾷ,
γιαννιώτικα, σμυρνιώτικα, πολίτικα,
μακρόσυρτα τραγούδια ἀνατολίτικα,

And a folk song from the British Isles, The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O

For more stereotypes, another version