Friday, October 26, 2007

Music and Me...

A passion...my passion. My first memories of Greek Music were the songs my father had collected over the years. A habit he had, one which I would acquire, was to whistle or hum tunes while he was working. Sometimes the hum would lead to the whispering of the words, and would normally end up in a full recital of the song. Wherever he was in the house, we could always find him, if we followed the tune.

Sundays were never my favourite days as a child, as they were the days when I helped with the chores. Since it was also my parent's day off, I was the one who got up early to clean the shop, so they wouldn't have too much to do when they awoke. This being the case, I would take the cassette recorder with me, and put in the greek tapes, letting the music ring through my ears, and reach my soul. It seemed that the words had more meaning, more passion than they did in English. I would listen to anything, and when I reached the age of making choices, I would buy anything sung by Glykeria, Marinella, Alexiou. Kazanzidi was always a favourite, as his voice would harmoniously inspire nostalgia in all of us, as he sang about being an immigrant, about poverty and, as I would later understand, the effects of an unbalanced system.

Sundays were also the days when the family was home, so on Sunday nights we would always play music and learn Greek dances with my parents. I still have photos of my brother and I dancing hasaposerviko around the coffee table, with my parents looking on.

I wanted to be a singer. It seemed that I had inherited my father's thirst for music and his voice, but my dreams were not the same as his, so when my music teacher at school suggested I take lessons in music and song, the idea was just thrown out of the window.

It was only until three years ago, when I sang at a friend's wedding, that I suddenly realized that I could still do what I loved. The band offered me a job, and since then I have been singing. I know my voice is not perfect, but I try. Obviously I didn't tell my father until a long time after I had started working. The sad thing is that his reaction was the same as when I was at school. The difference was that I didn't care. Now I work here and there. I also sing a lot of the songs I would listen to when I was younger. My list of favorite Greek singers has expanded as I now try to sing songs by Arvanitaki, Galani, Kana and many others. I love ballads, zeimbekika, laika, rembetika but I find it hard to sing the more traditional "dimotika", I suppose because I just never listened to them when I was younger. It's hard, as I work full time anyway, but a passion is a passion ....

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