soc

They said.....

15 posts in this topic

I start a new thread inspired by Nikolas column in the press office. If you run into something tha somebody has said about Dalaras (it doesn't need to be positive all the time) copy and paste. Nikola, if you want to move it somewhere more appropriate, go ahead.

You can then use this thread

to expand the column Είπαν. (I just hope we are not getting into any copyright issues. To make sure, if you reproduce something, make it short and give the reference, no matter what). I also suggest that you put the name of the person who said the quote in the subject.

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Χρήστος Νικολόπουλος in babylon.gr

"Ο Γιώργος Νταλάρας, το έχω ξαναπεί νομίζω, παρόλο που ορισμένοι τον κατακρίνουν πολλές φορές, αδίκως για μένα, αν κανείς πιάσει την ιστορία του θα δει ότι είναι ο άνθρωπος που έδωσε τους μεγαλύτερους αγώνες για το ελληνικό τραγούδι και ο άνθρωπος που προσέφερε τα περισσότερα στο ελληνικό τραγούδι και στην πατρίδα μας ως εκπρόσωπος καλλιτέχνης που κάνει συναυλίες στο εξωτερικό. Νομίζω ότι κανείς δεν μπορεί να κάνει αυτά που έκανε ο Νταλάρας, όσο και να προσπαθήσει. Δεν θα ξαναγεννηθεί κανένας Νταλάρας που να έχει αυτή την όρεξη για δουλειά που είχε, γιατί τώρα νομίζω ότι έχει "καλμάρει" λίγο. Μας εξόντωνε όλους. Δεν μπορούσαμε να αντέξουμε τον τρόπο που δούλευε αυτός. Δεν νομίζω ότι θα υπάρξει άλλος που θα μπορεί να δουλέψει με τον τρόπο που δουλεύει αυτός. Για αυτούς τους λόγους και για τη φωνή που διαθέτει και για το ταλέντο του, νομίζω ότι είναι ο άνθρωπος που προσέφερε τα περισσότερα στο ελληνικό τραγούδι."

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Dalaras about himself.

This is a translation of the interview I found on the site of Amazon.de, seek topic Amazin' amazon in Links. Please remember that it was done in Greek, published in German, and translated into English by a Dutch person... so don't take every choice of words at face value.

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS THROUGH ORIGINALITY

A CONVERSATION WITH HELLAS' HERO GEORGE DALARAS

In Greece, everyone knows him. For decades, he has been ruling the landscape of folkloristic music, he has filled stadiums and, with his extraordinary voice, he has passionately moved millions of people in Greece and outside it. He owes this success to his extraordinary voice and to his richly varied repertoire, from traditional Rembetika, via such classics as Theodorakis, to modern songs. About the past, the present and the future of Greek music: an interview by Amazon.de reporter Kleopatra Sofroniou-von Tavel in the interval of the very lively concert in Mόnchen.

Amazon.de: Internationaly, the critics have compared you to Ry Cooder or to Bruce Springsteen, and described your music as mixing Folk, Blues and Flamenco. How would you, yourself, describe you music?

George Dalaras: For one thing, I can say nothing about these comparisons. But it surely is a great honour for me, who come from a small country and am unable to reach many people because of the language, to be compared to musicians who have such an international career. But let's leave this aside. The important thing is, whether this description describes the style of my music. My singing [Tragoudi] has many facets. It has roots in Byzantine music and in the Dimotiko Tragoudi (folk songs), and it has elements from the Rembetiko [more about this early 20th century musical movement later in this article], from the protest songs of the 60's by Theodorakis and Chadzidakis, and from the modern Greek songs of younger musicians like Katsimichas or Pyx Lax. I might say that a person unfamiliar with Greek music could listen to the records from the 30 years of my recording career, and gain an impression of the development of music since the war.

Amazon.de: You have been performing in Germany for 20 years. What has been the evolution of the public's interest in your music?

George Dalaras: The interest is there, yes, and it has even been growing stronger.

Amazon.de: The "World Music" trend - did, or does, it help the spread of Greek music?

George Dalaras: Naturally. People looking for an alternative to the mainstream pop music, the internationalised disco music: this was already going on in the 80's. Many people are curious, looking for different sounds and styles. The designation 'ethnic' for this kind of music has its root in the Greek word 'ethnikon', meaning 'national'. It is beautiful that, in these times of globalisation and internationalisation, music has managed to get across the borders without having lost its own special character. There is a great treasure of traditions waiting to be discovered in different countries. And it is happening at last. It is a pity, though, that the Greek artists are so poorly prepared for working outside the frontiers of the country.

Amazon.de: Why are they?

George Dalaras: There are two reasons.

For one, Greece has been very introvert for a very long time: its own language, its own culture, its own music. Excepting three or four great musicians, Greece was musically very much turned in on itself, and at the same time, it developed a pride and an egoism, a belief that what it produces is enormously important. But this is only true for the 15 million people who speak Greek in the world. Our language is a difficult one. It may be a the root of western civilisation, but to the international public, it is of little significance. And history is being written again and again, every day.

The second reason is that many artists will not make any kind of compromise at all, to present this music to an international public. Because in our music, the words, the lyrics, are very important. Greek songs are often poems set to music, and even though they are not always by great poets, in translation, they often appear soulless, colourless. For this reason, some artists want nothing to do with internationalisation in music, they concentrate on the Greek audience and on the few foreigners who are fascinated by the colour and character of our music.

Amazon.de: Have you, perhaps, chosen another path? No great compromises, but performing together with other great artists such as Al di Meola or Goran Bregovic, you have reached an audience outside Greece...

George Dalaras: I work not only a singer, but also as 'producer of sounds' and a kind of 'life in music'. When I invited Al di Meola to play with me, we made music in a very concretely defined style: Latin Jazz. As for Bregovic, though he is an international star, he is still a 'Balkanios'. I have also worked with symphony orchestras, but the music and atmosphere always remained Greek. I try not to forget my roots and my history. After all, I have lived in two eras: the legendary 60's, when the whole thing functioned like a family, but also today's world, performing in stadiums, big tours, etc. These collaborations are much more the product of a personal curiosity, than the ambition for a bigger career. I just go with what my instinct and my soul tell me.

Amazon.de: Your style clearly mixes in Byzantine, traditional and western European elements. How is this received in Greece?

George Dalaras: It is correct to say that all these elements are part of my music, but that is how Greece is, too! We live at the crossroads between East and West, but also between North and South. And there always was this conflict between Traditionalists and Proodeutikous. Even Tsitsanis, who has written such important and magnificent songs, was contemptuously called 'Europaista', for writing some lighter music.

Amazon.de: You studied Byzantine singing, didn't you?

George Dalaras: As a child, I heard, and also sang, a lot of music in church. But I did not want to pursue this study, because it requires exclusive concentration. I admire such voices as Chantzimarkos, Vassillikos and others.

Amazon.de: What do you think of the development of Greek music nowadays, the Pop and the Laiko Tragoudi?

George Dalaras: Music is always the mirror of our life. All the good and bad around us is reflected in song. Of course there is a category of people who don't like this much. Maybe so they are not forced to think. In times of great need and distress, we often see great art being created. Look at the sixties: they brought forth, all over the world, revolutions, social currents and changes, and also great works of art. In Greece too, it was a time of political crises, and in reaction, magnificent songs were written. Whereas nowadays, in our prosperity, what is called 'folk song' is in a sorry crisis. But, in parallel to these shameful things that are shown on TV, and the culture of hit songs that last no more than a month, there are important artists writing very beautiful music.

Amazon.de: Who, for example?

George Dalaras: Well, for example, Charis and Panos Katsimichas, Orfeas Peridis, Sokratis Malamas. They are song makers who a high esthetic sense. But also composers a generation older, like Xarchakos, who wrote his sensational soundtrack 'Rembetiko' just a few years back.

Amazon.de: What are your plans for the coming months?

George Dalaras: I have some 20 to 25 concerts in Greece this summer, then an American tour, a concert with Emma Shaplin at the Athens festival and in Delphi with a classical orchestra from Moscow, with music by Theodorakis. Besides, I am working on three new recordings: a tribute to Tsitsanis and a tribute to Theodorakis together with many other musicians.

Amazon.de: Since we speak of Theodorakis, who has for a long time been the most famous Greek composer in Germany, beside Vangelis... Who is the composer, past or present, who has influenced and inspired you most?

George Dalaras: Of the older composers, that would be Markos Vamvakaris, who is considered the father of Rembetiko; Vassilis Tsitsanis has developed the art further. And from him, Theodorakis and Chadzidakis have learned much. After that, I have some very personal preferences. I have a weakness for Apostolos Kaldaras und Manos Loizos, perhaps because I began together with them. And beside these, there are so many good composers, like Xarhakos, Spanos, and the younger ones I named earlier.

Amazon.de: And how did you begin, then?

George Dalaras: I'm not sure I can point out a beginning, at all. I have always felt a musician. My father was a musician, my granddad, all my father's siblings, and for me, it was self-evident. There was no chance of me doing anything else. I was lucky!

Amazon.de: You mean your family supported and encouraged your involvement in music?

George Dalaras: That is not what I meant. I believe I simply could not do anything but make music. If I had chosen something else, I would probably have become very unhappy.

[interview by Kleopatra Sofroniou-von Tavel]

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Thanks for your translation and adding this topic BUT,

and that applies as well to the first message in this thread by mr Soc, could you specify next time, or maybe even retrospective, the full URL.

This allows everybody to go back to the original source and copyright problems are overcome that way as well. (Unless you scanned it from a paper source)

Look into the thread of Manos Loizos where I gave the URL for that particular article in Difwno-24

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I recently acquired the compilation entitled 'The Greek Spirit'. Silly title, good songs.

The booklet, by Leda Kazantzaki, is an amusing mixture of German and English and ends with an extremely neat little phrase:

"Rastlos ueberschreitet er Grenzen, ohne dabei den Boden, auf dem er grossgeworden ist, unter den Fuessen zu verlieren".

which might translate as:

"He (=Dalaras) is always walking across new borders, yet het always keeps his feet on the ground on which he grew up and became great."

Neatly said, isn't it? (Whether you agree or not)

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Who was asking for Kostas Ganoselis??

Of course he's 'mentioned' at this forum! You just have to read carefully all new posts! :)

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It was me Anna :):D . In 'Θησαυρος βαθιά κρυμμένος' because a) I didn't recall him being discussed and b ) he didn't appear on a search. But then I'm not the most diligent reader of posts so I should have known better. Sorry!

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Εκπομπή «κοίτα τι έκανες» 31/1/2004

« Ένα μοναδικό πλάσμα... Ένας τραγουδιστής που τραγουδάει ελληνικά, αλλά μιλάει σ' όλο τον κόσμο... »

A unique being... A singer who sings in Greek in the Greek way, but speaks to the whole world and everyone in it

To my great shame I can't remember the name of the (very nice) journalist woman who said this. And that is NOT fair because her programme with the Estoudiantina and Dalaras was GREAT.

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