This CD includes songs and tunes in ‘7 beats to the bar’ (the rhythm of kalamatianos dances) and in ‘9 beats to the bar’ (the rhythm of zeibekikos and karsilamas dances) with lyrics and melodies both erotic and sorrowful.
The idea of producing this collection has been running through my mind for some time. It contains tunes and songs in 7/8 rhythm, to which all syrtós and kalamatianós dances are performed as well as songs in 9/8 rhythm, that accompanies zeimbékikos and karsilamás dances.
The songs that are sung and danced throughout Greece to those two rhythms are indeed beyond numbers. Not surprisingly, therefore, that most of the eleven songs recorded for this collection are generally unknown. The verses are old and about erotic love, the sore at heart, the sensitive lover, and so on. I thought, what a pity it would be if they were lost and young people would not learn of them.
I was concerned to present in their entirety the songs, whose many verses relate a story, in contrast to the regrettable habit commonplace today of singing only the first two or three verses and thus destroying the unity and sense of the song. For I believe that through the verses of our demotic songs we can turn back the pages to another age and get to know the poetry, the deeper feelings of the people of those times, and so understand their way of living and their way of thinking.
Also, I have tried to render the songs in their original form with the musical characteristics of the region where they first were sung.
I fervently entreat those who wish to sing those songs to show the respect they deserve.
Domna Samiou December 1995
Translated by John Leatham