Children sing for children
Yiorgos E. Papadakis, Newspaper, Eleftherotypia, 09/01/2008
The new CD presented by Domna Samiou, who is always hearty and devoted to the promotion of musical traditions, is tasteful and diligently prepared. Two CDs containing thirty six songs and a third disk containing visual material from the rehearsals, are presented within a 164 page book which includes texts and comments by the ethnologist Miranda Terzopoulou, the lyrics of the songs, biographies of the collaborators, sketches and photographs.
About half the songs are performed by young students from the 9th Primary School of Nea Smyrni, in Domna Samiou's neighbourhood. She herself taught, arranged the choir and chose the young soloists. Apart from Domna herself, some of her well know collaborators also sing, including Katerina Papapopoulou, Vangelis Dimoudis, Zacharias Karounis, Nikos Oikonomidis, Michalis Zambas and her choir.
These songs, which descend from our tradition as 'childrens' songs, because they are sung either to or by children, are especially noteworthy, even for adults. Curious, and sometimes at first glance incomprehensible, these songs are closely linked to games, or constitute games in themselves. Within the children's songs are embedded traces of previous centuries, which reveal the changes that they have undergone through their oral transmission through time.
Children's games are to a great extent a mimicking, a copied vision, of the lives of adults. The difference is that whatever enters into the tradition of children, together with the unique and characteristic childish appearance it acquires, also acquires its own existence, and lives on for a long period of time, even when it's original has long vanished from the world of adults.
Just as with all of Domna Samiou's editions, the rendering of the traditional musical material is of a high standard, both technically and in terms of interpretation. The musical and orchestral supervision is by Socrates Sinopoulos. Similarly the sound quality, for which Yiorgos Karyotakis is responsible, is exemplary.
Translated by Alexander Seferiades