the musicians of dourgouti

Violin, viola, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, piano, marimba, sound media, projected text [15′]

This composition is based on a transcription of an interview recorded by George Sachinis (UrbanDig Project) of a resident, Iosif Gevontian, living in the Dourgouti neighborhoud in Neos Kosmos, Athens. In the interview, which begins with him singing a famous old Turkish song, Bekledim De Gelmedim by Yesari Asım Arsoy, he gives an account of the musical life and the many musicians which he encountered in the 50s/60s living in Dourgouti. He gives an insight into the multicultural life and the role that music played in the everyday life there. In the composition his speaking voice, though never heard directly, is translated into the musical material of the piece, while his words are projected in time with the music. As well as his own rendition of Bekledim De Gelmedim, fragments of three other recordings of this song are heard, by Zeki Müren, Nevin Demirdöven and Stelios Kazantzidis. These are also used in the fabric of the frozen voices heard in the background of the piece.

Commissioned by Christos Carras (Onassis Cultural Centre) for Ensemble Artefacts as part of their project Music for a New World.

The music can be ordered from Donemus Publishing House, Amsterdam.

Premiere: 26th May 2017 at OCC, Athens.

Photo of Dourgouti
Photo of Dourgouti (1955) by Nikos Gulielmos