Musical Travelogue with Domna Samiou - Thrace, Evros
“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, 1976
An episode dedicated to the musical tradition of Thrace and specifically that of the Evros district. An ancient legend has it that Orpheus taught music throughout Thrace and finally found a tragic death in the river Evros.
As the crossroad to the East, Thrace received many influences, but still maintains its own musical character. Evros, due to its unique geographical position (δεν είναι επί λέξη μετάφραση αλλά προσδιορίζει το νόημα νομίζω), today expresses almost all of the variations of Thracian music.
This Travelogue visits the villages of Ambelakia, Asproneri, Karoti, Metaxades, Nea Vyssa, Neochori, Paliouri, Soufli, and Sofiko.
In the village of Paliouri, Yiannis Zafeiroudis sings the song I See Ships A-Coming and is accompanied by Christos Kanakidis or Zachardelas on the flute. Based on this recording, Domna Samiou performed the above mentioned song in her album I Tread the Earth Gently.
Yannis Zafiroudis sings the philosophical table song (narrative song) Welcome My Friends. The song recounts the joys of life, the unpredictability of human destiny, and the inevitability of death and oblivion.
Christos Zafiroudis sings the table song I Wandered for Twelve Years ((sung sitting around the table) about people living far away from their homeland and families.
Residents of the village Metaxades dance the Karsilama Wedding Dance. It is danced in the street, on the way to the bride’s house. Dimitris Mirgizoudis plays the gaida (bagpipe).
In the Village of Metaxades, is the title of the song from a village of the same name. Garyfallia Vakaloudi, Basiliki Vakaloudi, Maria Takoudi, and Triantafyllia Katakoudi sing about a local mayor, Yannis, who had three wives and wanted to marry a fourth one!
In Soufli village, Vasiliki Kipourou sings the songs In the Syriotiko Plain and In Holy Mary’s Neighborhood weaving on her loom.
In Karoti village, Yiorgos Demertzis plays the gaida (bagpipe) and sings the song At the Casement of the House. Residents of the village dance the ‘Xesyrtos’ dance.
'At the casement of the house, where the priest’s wife lives,
at the casement of her home, two black eyebrows sit…'
Babo-Vagia (old woman Vagia) Grammenidou, Afroditi Vargiamidou, and Dimitra Grammenidou sing The Song of the Dead Brother also known as The Song of Areti.
One of the best-loved, pan-Balkan, and dramatic narrative songs about the power of an oath, of mourning as well as the power of a curse.
Babo-Vagia (old woman Vagia) Grammenidou and Domna Samiou sing the wedding song My Mother, I Warned You. It is sung when the bride says goodbye to her mother, leaving her paternal home and heading out to church and marriage.
The same group of women sing the song Alexander and the King that delivers in poetic form one of the best-known legends of the Fall of Constantinople. It recounts the legend of the old woman who sets a condition for accepting the inconceivable news that the City had indeed fallen to the Turks. The sign will be when the half- fried fish leap out of her pan and return to the water. Well, the fish did leap out of the pan and, according to popular tradition, still swim in the holy water of Constantinople’s Baluklu church, the ‘church of the Fish’. It was here that King Alexander and Constantine, the prime symbolic figures of antiquity and of Byzantine splendor, receive news of the inconceivable catastrophe that has befallen their nation.
Yiorgos Demertzis plays the Pedoraki Dance on the bagpipe and the people of Asproneri village dance.
Yiorgos Demertzis plays the Zonaradikos Dance on the bagpipe and the people of Asproneri village are dancing.
The Dance of the Hare and the Hunter is a satirical mimetic dance danced by two usually elderly men. One represents the hare and the other the hunter. It was customary to dance it at the end of wedding feasts.
Yiorgos Demertzis sings and plays on his bagpipe the song ‘about migration to foreign lands and orphanhood’ Stormy Mountains, Foggy Lowlands
During the preparation of the program, Domna Samiou recorded the following songs.