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Greek Immigrant Music of the 1920s
Old 08-22-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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Greek Immigrant Music of the 1920s

Interesting article the the Washington Post Magazine:

washingtonpost.com

Focuses on how an interest in old records led to an fastination with Marika Papagika, a Greek singer who recorded many songs in the 1920s and sang in a nightclub she and her husband owned in NYC.

Here is her song Smyrneiko Minore. The song is haunting and takes me away to a different time and place.

MARIKA PAPAGIKA - SMYRNEIKO MINORE (1919)
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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In that venue (YouTube), it is an interestring sound... and quite pleasant. However, the question is: "Would you pay to go see this performer?" I wonder .
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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Amazing. When I heard her first note, I was thinking it was 'off', but this must be a micro-tonal scale, or just bending the notes of the scale (I have pretty poor pitch perception). Haunting indeed.

Makes sense that the guy from Kronos Quartet would be into this, they do some out there stuff.

Thanks for posting, I listened 4 times in a row. It's probably not a good candidate for that 'dance music' thread though

Any ethno-musicologists in the forum that could fill in the details?


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Old 08-22-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Hmmm, well...I agree the music is haunting and I enjoyed the video. But when the lady started singing, my cats ran out of the room....
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #5
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Hmmm, well...I agree the music is haunting and I enjoyed the video. But when the lady started singing, my cats ran out of the room....
My cats agree with your cats. Even so, they have become accustomed to odd music emanating from our sound system.

When DH and I were first married, we lived in an apartment next to a young Greek couple. They had some amazing parties with their friends from NY and often invited us to join in. Lots of Ouzo, reminiscing about the old county and lamenting about sad times in the past. And yes, lots of old music too.

I've always felt a connection to the early 1900's. I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation, but don't dismiss it either. Even so, I've often felt a strong connection that period of time. Past life experience? Who knows. Maybe just a curiosity or affinity for that time.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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I've always felt a connection to the early 1900's. I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation, but don't dismiss it either. Even so, I've often felt a strong connection that period of time. Past life experience? Who knows. Maybe just a curiosity or affinity for that time.
Interesting observation and thoughts.

For me, looking at old photographs of my family can almost make me feel I was with them during their time on earth. When I sketch them, the emotion is even stronger as I 'feel' their personality. I also think it's because I recognize some similarities in their features that match mine, the things that gave them pleasure, etc. It's a feeling I enjoy and gives me peace of mind knowing that I belong.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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For me, looking at old photographs of my family can almost make me feel I was with them during their time on earth. When I sketch them, the emotion is even stronger as I 'feel' their personality. I also think it's because I recognize some similarities in their features that match mine, the things that gave them pleasure, etc. It's a feeling I enjoy and gives me peace of mind knowing that I belong.
Such lovely words. I think your family would be pleased and proud.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Such lovely words. I think your family would be pleased and proud.
Thanks Avalon... Sure wish I could have met some of them.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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I'm joining the cats...sounds like my gawdawful SIL screaming at the kids...good grief!
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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I'm joining the cats...sounds like my gawdawful SIL screaming at the kids...good grief!
I feel so fortunate that I am able to appreciate things like this. I love ethnic music, micro-tunings, odd (to Western ears) rhythms and instruments. I feel so sorry for people who only hear 'noise' in that piece. That is so sad, they are missing so much, but we are all wired differently I guess.

Hmmm, maybe 'unorthodox' is the word I'm looking for, and that reminded me of another beautiful performance that some saw as 'unorthodox', but the beauty and passion and pain rise from the noise in such amazing ways:


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Cavett then explained to Hendrix that whenever someone plays an “unorthodox” version of the anthem, “You immediately get a guaranteed percentage of hate mail.”

Hendrix then respectfully disagreed with Cavett’s description. “I didn’t think it was unorthodox,” he said. “I thought it was beautiful.”

“I don’t know, man. All I did was play it. I’m American, so I played it. I used to sing it in school. They made me sing it in school, so it was a flashback.”




Maybe Jimi and Marika are jammin' in the afterlife somewhere?


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Old 08-24-2010, 05:39 PM   #11
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Try this modern Greek singer. My Mom had a lot of her albums.

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Old 08-24-2010, 06:04 PM   #12
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I feel so fortunate that I am able to appreciate things like this. I love ethnic music, micro-tunings, odd (to Western ears) rhythms and instruments. I feel so sorry for people who only hear 'noise' in that piece. That is so sad, they are missing so much, but we are all wired differently I guess.

ERD50
Thanks ERD50. I was feeling kinda strange about posting this, as though I was the only person who found beauty in it. I think it is an issue of being wired differently - and having a different ear to ethnic music. I was just so stuck by this piece of music. So much sadness and emotion.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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I feel so fortunate that I am able to appreciate things like this. I love ethnic music, micro-tunings, odd (to Western ears) rhythms and instruments.
I'm with you but my question still stands: "Would pay to go see this performance?"


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Maybe Jimi and Marika are jammin' in the afterlife somewhere?
Of course they are.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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I'm with you but my question still stands: "Would pay to go see this performance?"
Tough to say. Maybe as part of a larger performance of various Greek or other ethnic music. Some music I totally enjoy, but in small doses, and this is probably of that type. Though I literally did listen 4 times in a row, and a couple times since.

A few years back I saw the Emerson String Quartet, one of the premiere classical string quartets of our time. I had their double-CD of the Bela Bartok String Quartets, and that music is just mesmerizing. I always picture it as playing in the background of some dramatic old Black & White suspense movie.

But the concert was a total bore for me. They played flawlessly I'm sure, but it seemed like machines to me. They only said about 4 words to the audience, I didn't feel like I was 'in the moment' I guess. I enjoy the CD in the comfort of my home, and to listen to exactly when I'm in the mood to take it all in. So I don't know.

I've paid to see weirder than that clip, and enjoyed it (no, no mind altering substances were involved ).

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