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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Panigyria in Epirus, 15 August, 2014: Chris King, Amanda Petrusich, Andrea Frazzetta, Yiannis Chaldoupis, Grigoris Kapsalis

The New York Times hits Vitsa and Geroplatanos, 15 August 2014.

Chris King, from Faber, Virginia, and Amanda Petrusich, from Brooklyn, New York, experiencing Epirot culture and great klarino music at its very best. Amanda is the author of the outstanding and hugely enjoyable new book "Do Not Sell At Any Price" (Simon and Schuster, 2014). Amanda's illustrated feature article on the music of Epirus will appear in the New York Times Magazine (Voyages theme issue) on September 28, 2014.

Chris King is a Grammy-winning record producer and researcher; he has produced several essential collections of traditional and rare Epirot music (as well as many other extraordinary collections).

I don't think I have ever met two people who respond so deeply to the music I love- from the Rural Blues, Country and Cajun music to Epirot music. Great company too!

Amanda, Chris, Andrea Frazzetta and Marta
(Italian photographers on New York Times assignment)

By the light of the moon and stars

From my 2012 interview with Yiannis Chaldoupis:

"Yiannis plays in the Parakalamos style, with “morio” an important term which seems to imply deep feeling, deep soul, as well as intonation, knowledge of the “roads”, modes, modulations and “maqam” (there are 72 moria in the Byzantine scale, compared to the 12 semitones of the Western octave) as well as a special embouchure. It contains elements of the Byzantine musical tradition. He likes slow music. His music is inspired by nature, his mind is full of ideas, he says, it comes in waves, or like the contours of the mountains around him. Atmosphere is very important to him, he prefers playing in the dark, with his own people (not just other Gypsy families, but for people who really appreciate his music). If the atmosphere is good and the people are on his wavelength, he becomes truly inspired and the music is great. If not, he loses it, he says".

Echoes of Arcadia?

Communing with the klarino and nature under the moon and stars. Shortly after Yiannis Chaldoupis (from Parakalamos) played his inspired solo, hidden like Pan in the woods below Vitsa, we were all disturbed by the grunts of an approaching bear. This was our own private "Mini-Panigyri" - Yiannis' idea, to hear the klarino as it should be heard, far away from the microphones and amplifiers.

Arcadia, Wood Engraving by C.T.Nightingale, c 1924

Yiannis and Chris jam, in spite of the inquisitive bear.

 Chris King dances Samantakas

  An interview with Grigoris Kapsalis (famous klarino player) and Kiria Kapsalis, in Vitsa.

Amanda tries the klarino. Yiannis approves. 

The tiny community of Geroplatanos, near Kleidonia, Pogoni, Epirus. 
Two klarinos play just for Chris King.

Chris and Amanda at the Vitsa panigyri (14 August).

The Wild, Healing Music of Epiros, The National Herald

"King always went to Vitsa, a midsize village high in the Pindos Mountains, for the panegyri of the Dormition of Mary, which is held from August 14-16. That is how he gets closest to the music of Epirus, “to the wild and careening songs that made me feel as if I were communing with some unknown and unknowable part of myself. Hearing it there was the only way to begin to solve the mysteries it contained,” Petrusich reported".

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful article in the September 28 New York Times magazine.