o Music of the Month: Vasilis Kostas & Petroloukas Halkias - The Soul of Epirus
Music of the Month
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Our November 2019 selection for Music of the Month
Vasilis Kostas & Petroloukas Halkias
The Soul of Epirus:
musical dialogues between the laouto and the clarinet in Greece

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The story behind The Soul of Epirus begins years ago, in a little village in the heart of northwestern Greece. It's the story of a young Greek boy named Vasilis who would grow to become an acclaimed musician, performing with some of the world's best. But before that, there was the village, and a family who lived immersed in the soulful mystique of Greek folk songs. During seasonal festivities, the entire village would gather in the main square and Vasilis would dance to the sound of the clarinet. He didn't know it then, but eventually he would become a master of the stringed instrument known as laouto - the Greek version of the lute - and create an innovative new place for it in contemporary music.

The work is the culmination of a lifelong exploration of the beauty inherent in the music of Epirus - its slow tempos, reflecting the isolated nature of this mountainous region close to Albania, and its haunting pentatonic scales, based on five notes instead of the more common seven-note scale. A collaboration between Berklee College of Music graduate Vasilis Kostas on laouto and veteran clarinet master Petroloukas Halkias, the album illuminates the melodies and musicianship to be found in Epirus' folk traditions of decades past, its ability to evoke both the inescapable sadness of the human condition and its life-affirming joy.

The Soul of Epirus was recorded in Athens in three days. Kostas then returned to Boston, where he spent additional time at Futura Productions adding new material and perfecting the mix. Eight of the album's nine tracks are old Epirus classics - songs about rivers and villages, shepherds and laments for the dead - with one original composition by Kostas, "To Parapono tou Laouto."

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cd cover

Sign up for Music of the Month with a 20.00 monthly donation (includes postage in US and Canada):
Sign up for Music of the Month with a 28.00 monthly donation (includes postage worldwide):
Buy the CD for a 21.00 donation (includes US post)
Buy the CD for a 29.00 donation (outside US)

You can also buy this and previous Music of the Month titles in our shop (and save a little on postage for more than one CD).

 

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