KLAMMA  (the booklet)
Ritual songs from the countryside (Greece)

Vocal music in Greece is based strongly on community life. It serves ritual life and functionalities bound to the life circle, marriage, death, communal dance and whatever helps the survival of the community. For this reason, it is related to the female population and has developed different forms, according to the local musical dialects. This CD is dedicated to vocal songs from different areas of continental Greece and Greek refugees from Asia Minor. It aims to promote unknown styles and for this reason the performance of the songs is based on fieldwork and archival research.

Four main areas are represented, all of them important for their vocal styles: Epirus, with its three or four-part singing polyphonic styles (Northern Epirus, in today’s Southern Albania and Central Epirus, around Jannina in Greece); Mount Pindus from the central part of continental Greece with its heterophony and its Vlach and Greek speaking populations; North-eastern Macedonia with its two part singing relevant to the polyphony found in Southern Bulgaria; and Cappadocia, in Asia Minor with its monophonic ritual vocal style. Almost all songs are ritual songs, with a special functionality inside community life.

The Greek word “klamma1” means cry, weeping. It refers to the initial functionality of many of the songs included in this CD but also of many ritual songs which accompany community life in Greece as lament practices. Apart from the songs that are pure funeral laments, like nos 11, 19, 20, in many cases the melodies are lament melodies that keep their functionality, in other cases, as in the case of no 4 and 9. Number 4 presents in the lower voice the initial form of a lament weeping, found in pure improvisational laments in the area of Epirus. Here it becomes an ornamentation of the polyphonic texture. Many other characteristics of the songs also stem from lament practices such as small cries, the manner of singing itself and the melodic lines especially in Polyphony as well as in Heterophony (See no.1-10, 16,17). But even in the case where such characteristics are not clear, as for example in dance songs, then the texts of the songs refer again to Death or protest against Death, fight with Death (see no.12, 14, 15, 18) or against human fate. It is usually the need to protest against fate or to keep memory alive in community life that results “klamma” to become a song. We never forgot “klamma” while singing these songs.

The female vocal group “Echó” who performs the songs in this CD, started its work as an experimental activity in 1998, when the choirmaster took responsibility for the traditional choral and dance group of the Music High School in Thessaloniki, which consisted of pupils aged between 12 and 15. It continued its experimental work in the courses offered by its choirmaster at the Department of Music Science and Arts of the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is based on more than 20 years of its choirmaster’s research on the performance of traditional singing in Greece since 1990. Now it is a group of graduates as well as external collaborators who promote performance based mainly on fieldwork and research. Under this name, it has been active since 2012. Our research concerns the documentation and the vocal techniques of traditional singing and focuses on the characteristics of the Greek language and its dialects, as well as the relationship of all these factors with the traditional singing style. Additionally the phenomenon of bilingualism is one of the main focuses of “Echó”.

The concept of the workshop is that all voices are appropriate for singing. As in the local traditions, every voice has its own place in the musical life of the community, in the same way, everybody has his place in this workshop. The workshop helped the voices of a great number of students or external collaborators who participated in it for long or shorter periods of time and who continue their collaboration or have at the same time collaborated and supported (with their experience) other vocal groups or just work individually. For this CD four members collaborated.

1."Klamma" derives from the ancient Greek word "klavma" (κλαυμα) - weeping. The letter υ (ypsilon) is transformed into a second μ (m) in modern Greek. So the initial correct spelling in modern Greek is "klamma" with two m. The "klama" with one m is a later simplification.

CD tracks
  1. Oles oi xores ta xoria - Όλες οι χώρες τα χωριά
    "All countries, lands and villages"
    Historical song sung in groups. Polyphonic song from Northem Epirus and Kalamas region (original recording on Cd Epirotic Musical Tradition, track 16). 

  2. Ena pouli Thalassino kai ena pouli vounision (kaimene Marko Mbotsani) - Ένα πουλί θαλασσινό και ένα πουλί βουνίσιο (καημένε Μάρκο Μπότσαρη)
    “A bird from the Sea and one from the mountains... (Oh! my poor Markos Botsaris!)”
    Village of Kosovitsa in Northern Epirus. A dance polyphonic lament-song in honour of Markos Botsaris danced in three. 

  3. Protos einai o Leonidas - Πρώτος είναι ο Λεωνίδας
    "Leonidas is the first"
    Historical song sung in groups from the village of Kosovitsa in Northern Epirus (Inside Southern Albania).

  4. Vlepeis ekeino to vouno? - Βλέπεις εκείνο το βουνό?
    "Do you see that mountain?"
    Polyphonic female harvest song from the village of Kouklioi in the Kalamas region Epirus. Based on old recording by the local people of Kouklioi.

  5. Osa louloudia i Anoiksi - Όσα λουλούδια η Άνοιξη
    “All the flowers of the Spring”
    Female Polyphonic song. Performance based on field recording (1993) found in the Radio Archive of E.R.A. in Jannina (see in Lolis Kostas 2006, The Epirot polyphonic songs p.128 ex.27, Cd track 18). Female song sung in groups from the village of Sotira in Northern Epirus.

  6. Nteli Papas - Ντελή Παπάς
    A Polyphonic Song sung in groups (male-female) from the village of Ktismata in the area of Pogoni (see for the original recording tape "The Polyphonic song of Epirus -- from the village of Ktismata in Pogoni region" side 2 no 2). The original version (old) included in this Cd is a similar version (with little differences) recorded in the village of Agia Marina in Epirus.
  7. Ksenitemeno moy Pouli - Ξενητεμένο μου πουλί
    "My sorrowful bird in the foreign land"
    Based on field recording (1978) found in the Radio Archive of Gyrokaster (Lolis Kostas 2006 The Epirot polyphonic songs, p.136 Cd track 22). Female song sung in groups from the village of Lesinitsa in Northern Epirus.

  8. Siga Nyfi ton Choro - Σίγα νύφη τον χορό
    "Lead the dance slowly, my Bride"
    Wedding ritual dance (in threes) for the bride from the village of Kosovitsa in Northern Epirus (Inside Southern Albania).

  9. Mi me pethaineis Panagia thelo na ziso akomi - Μη με πεθαίνεις Παναγιά θέλω να ζήσω ακόμη
    "Oh! Mother of God! Don’t let me die! I want to stay alive!"
    Village of Pogoniani in Epirus. It is a lament-song sung in groups.

    "Oh! Mother of God don't let me die! I want to stay alive!
    Ah! Because I am young and unmarried
    And the ground won't accept to keep me in it and make me soil.
    Ah! Because I am not a tree
    To be cut and fall and venerate the earth!"

  10. Embate agoria sto choro korasia sta tragoudia - Εμπάτε αγόρια στο χορό κοράσια στα τραγούδια
    "You boys! Get in the dance. And the girls start the songs!"
    A well known Greek-speaking dance song sung in the local festivals in all Western Greece by local instrumentalists. In the way it is sung here it is a heterophonic version in the old heterophonic manner of composition performed in the ritual songs in and around the Pindus mountains. There are more than two voices, one leading voice performing the main melody and another one performing the mobile drone. One middle voice is added and in some cases the upper voice is sung on the fifth above main tone.

  11. Mariola – Siko Mariola apo tin gi (I) - Σήκω Μαριόλα από τη γή
    You beautiful girl get up out of the earth!"
    A funeral Greek-speaking lament from the Vlach-speaking village of Metsovo (Pindus Mountains). Sung by a female group. V
    illage of Metsovo. 
  12. Triomero imouna gambros - Τριόμερο ήμουνα γαμπρός
    " I was a groom for only three days"
    Female two-part wedding song sung on the way "when they take the bride to the church", from the billingual (Greek-speaking and Slav-speaking) village of Volakas, in the region of Drama in North Eastern Macedonia in Greece.

  13. Exthes to vrady - Εχθές το βράδυ
    "Yesterday evening"
    A female two-part dance song from the village of Volakas in the region of Drama in North Eastern Macedonia in Greece. Village of Volakas.

  14. Dyo aderfia eixan mia aderfi - Δυό αδέρφια είχαν μια αδερφή
    "Two brothers had a sister"
    Female dance two-part song from the village of Volakas in the region of Drama in North Eastern Macedonia in Greece.

  15. Potame Tzane m’ Potame moy - Ποταμέ Τζάνεμποταμέ μου
    "Oh! River my river!"

    Female two-part dance song from the village of Volakas in the region of Drama in North Eastern Macedonia in Greece. Based on field recordings. It was also recorded as a monophonic melody of a Syrtos dance in 1934 by Rita Abatzi (Traditional and Rebetiko singer). See in Record HMV AO-2164.
    In Volakas the song is a two part song and the intervals of the melody have changed, keeping the local manner.

  16. Prameteytis ekinise - Πραματευτής εκίνησε
    "A tradesman started his journey"
    Female Greek-speaking homophonic song sung by the women “when they got out on the mountains”, from the Vlach-speaking village of Palioseli (Pindus mountains).

  17. Kato ston Agio Gianni - Κάτω στον Αγιο Γιάννη
    "Down there at Saint John"
    Female makroulos dance from the Greek village of Potamia in Cappadocia in Asia Minor. Based on historical recordings of 1930 kept in the Musical Folklore Archive of the Melpo Merlier Center for Asia Minor Studies (Cd. Songs of Cappadocia, Musical Folklore Archive of Melpo Merlier, Center for Asia Minor Studies track 9).

  18. De laleis glyko moy aydoni - Δε λαλείς γλυκό μου αηδόνι
    "You don’t sing anymore my sweet nightingale"

    Female Greek-speaking historical dance song sung by the women after Church on the great local feasts (a syrtos dance), reflecting the struggles against the invaders of the area. Based on field recordings during fieldwork in the bilingual (slav-speaking and Greek speaking) village of Volakas in Drama (North Eastern Macedonia in Greece). As a melody and a syrtos dance with similar words it is found in continental Greece. The song was originally a song about heroes on the mountains and it was sung by Rosa Eskenazy in 1938. (Columbia record DG 6400). 
    In Volakas the local people adapted its words to their local history of Eastern Macedonia in Greece and their struggle against the Turks (Ottomans), Bulgarians and later German-Bulgarian powers of Axon during the World War II, giving a local name to the "high mountains' (Falakron).

  19. Vini uara uara l'i - Ήρθε η μεγάλη στιγμή
    "The great moment has come"
    Heterophonic Vlach-speaking funeral lament “when they bring the deceased (to the cemetery)” from the village of Samarina in Grevena region Northern Pindus, between the Greek Western Macedonia and Epirus. Field recording in the village of Falani in the Larisa region (1995). Sung by a female group.
    See in Katsanevaki Athena: Vlach-speaking and Greek-speaking songs in the Northern Pindus mountain-range. Historical - Ethnomusicological approach: Their Archaism and their relationship with the historical backround. Phd (in Greek), Part B Volume II Mus.ex.59, p.324-331.

  20. Mariola – Siko Mariola apo tin gi  (II) - Σήκω Μαριόλα από τη γή
    You beautiful girl get up out of the earth!"
    A funeral Greek-speaking lament from the Vlach-speaking village of Metsovo (Pindus Mountains). Sung by a female group.
    Traditional voices in the original field recording (1995): Xryso Georgeli, 69 years old; Maria Vadevouli, 42 years old; Zoi Vadevouli,42 years old.

    Without special mention, each song is based on field recordings made in the years 1995-2007 by Dr. A. Katsanevaki. Field-recordings of n°2,3,4,6,8,9 were recorded together with Dr. Eckehard Pistrick.