Musical Travelogue with Domna Samiou - Crete, Heraklion
“Musical Travelogue with Domna Samiou” (“Musiko Odiporiko me ti Domna Samiou”) was a television series researched and presented by Domna Samiou and broadcast by the Greek National Television during the 1976-1977 season. Each episode was dedicated to the mu
Music program, Television, ERT, 1977
This documentary was filmed in February 1977 in Heraklion and in the villages of Vorizia, Fodele, Thrapsano, Kastelli Pediados and Gergeri.
In the castle of Heraklion, the lyra player Vassilis Skoulas sings the Mantinades about the virtues of gallant and brave men. He is accompanied on the lute by Yannis Xylouris. They continue with the instrumental Pentozalis danced by three men.
Then, Vassilis Skoulas sings verses from the well-known romance of the 17rh century Erotokritos, written by Vikentios Kornaros in the Cretan dialect.
Vorizia is an inland village in the south-western part of the district of Heraklion. As in many mountainous villages, the locals create and play traditional wind instruments. They are made out of wood, reeds and goatskin. Manolis Faraggoulitakis is one of them. He plays various tunes with his handmade instruments.
The village of Fodele is known for its oranges that are famous as "the best in all of Crete". Also for the Museum of El Greco (Dominikos Theotokopoulos). Domna Samiou interviews Stergios Spanakis (writer and scholar) about the exact location of the house the great painter was born in 1541 and is contested by some villagers. Residents dance the Kastrinos (Maleviziotikos) Dance. George Papoutsakis plays the Cretan lyra and Astrinos Sarris plays the lute.
The village of Thrapsano is famous for its pottery production. In front of a pottery workshop, we hear Mantinades that praise but also mock jars, craftsmen and the whole village.
Grigoris Chnarakis, a resident of the village of Thrapsano, was a member of the group that kidnapped the German General Kreipe in February 1944 during the German occupation of the island. He recounts the events and talks about the risks and self-sacrifice required of those who participated.
In Kastelli Pediados a traditional carnival celebration was set up (Tsiknopempti) and a group of dancers dances the Kastrinos (Maleviziotikos) Dance.
A feast is set up (organized) in the central square of the village of Gergeri and the whole village participates. Acompanying instruments: the askomandoura (Cretan bagpipe) and the lute. We find the askomandoura mainly in mountain villages, where there are shepherds who make it and play it.
Gergeri is a village with a long musical tradition. Whole families are musicians. Here, the shepherd Dimitris Sifakis plays the askomandoura and sings Mantinades with love themes. He is accompanied by his 17-year-old son George who plays the lyra and his 15-year-old son Pavlos who plays the lute.
On the third day of traditional weddings, the bride's dowry items are presented in the groom's house. All the relatives of the groom and the bride gather and as each dowry item is presented, they sing corresponding praising verses.