Plastikes Karekles are playing their arrangement of Theodorakis/Ritsos’s Epitaphios and also a programme of classic Rebetika songs in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Rebetiko is the music of an urban sub culture called ‘Rebetes’. It emerged in Greece in the 1920s bringing a rich synthesis of music from all over Greece, Asia minor, Ottoman modal art music, Byzantine chant and cafe music. The music expresses the pain and suffering of the people at the time, through war, poverty and incarceration, as well as other deeply felt sentiments and aspects of everyday life. Due to the controversial nature of its themes (such as violence and drug abuse) and anti establishment lyrics, the songs were often censored or banned. Also, with the music’s genesis being from the edges of society or ‘underground’, it was frowned upon and snubbed by people who considered themselves to be from the more socially acceptable classes.
Theodorakis, openly acknowledged the debt of Greek music to Rebetiko and made a conscious effort to bring together the ‘high art’ (poetry) and the ‘low art’ (Rebetiko) through music. Theodorakis and Ritsos’ Epitaphios, especially, made a huge step towards achieving this ideal with the overnight success of this powerful and historic album, bringing people together through their common love for music and the poetry. Tonight’s performance will include an English recitation of the Ritsos’ poetry and is to raise money towards the programme of concerts and outreach work of the 2nd London Rebetiko Carnival in 2016.
Plastikes Karekles is a group of musicians with backgrounds in classical, jazz and traditional Greek music. Thay have performed in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St.David’s Hall and festivals all over Europe. The musicians of the group are the founding members of the London Rebetiko Carnival, a one month festival dedicated to the music of Rebetiko supporting musicians based in London and from Greece. They will be performing their own arrangements of the Epitaphios album in the 2nd half of tonight’s concert. The first half will be a performance of classic rebetika songs, from which Theodorakis drew inspiration.
Marina Deligianni vocals
Sarah Dubost-Hautefeuille cello
Pavlos Carvalho bouzouki
Niki Andronikou baglama
Stelios Katsatsidis accordion
Maria Tsirodimitri guitar
Katy Furmanski double bass
Royal Northern College of Music,
Carole Nash Recital Room,
124 Oxford Road,
Manchester, M13 9RD