EVRITIKI ZYGIA | Ormenion

EVRITIKI ZYGIA

ormenion


Label: Teranga Beat
Cat No: TBLP024

Status: PRESALE

experimental folk greece LP single thracian


TRACKLIST

01. Fog
02. Maritsa
03. 5 Nights
04. Karsilamas
05. Ormenion
06. Anastenariko
07. The Sun Is Setting Down

RELEASE NOTES

Teranga Beat proudly presents Ormenion, a record by the group Evritiki Zygia. Ormenion is a historical region that dates back to the Byzantine Empire. It is the northernmost inhabited region of Greece, where the last railway station of the country is located. During the 1920's it was inhabited by refugees coming from the North and Eastern Thrace. Immigration is central to the history of the region of Thrace, where many songs refer to refugees and moving populations. The name of this particular place was selected as the album title due to its delicate cultural and geographic status: Ormenion coincides with the borders of three different countries (Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey) and its history counts several waves of immigration that gave way to cultural and even linguistic exchange -elements that obviously left their mark on the group.

The group Evritiki Zygia was founded in 2007 by five musicians who played mostly in local festivals, their main concern being the preservation and evolution of the Thracian musical tradition. The collaboration with Teranga Beat helped this project evolve even further. Forms of arrangement different than the ones used in local feasts and festivals, were introduced giving more space to the dynamics of the instruments and allowing musicians to show both their improvisational and compositional skills. The distinctively psychedelic element of Thracian music was enhanced with the introduction of the CRB-Diamond 800 organ and the Moog, giving the whole project a hybrid sound with a unique identity. The album contains both covers of traditional songs and original compositions.

The band's highest point was their appearance at the Womex Festival in 2018, where their music was presented for the first time in front of an international audience. This was an extremely important achievement for us, given that up until then this type of music remained unknown even to Greek audiences. But it was also a great and very creative experience for the band, as it broadened up its musical horizons.The album was recorded on an analog 24-track tape Otari MX 80 in two sessions that took place on May 18 and 19 2019. It is a live recording that captures the energy of the group's live performances.

The LP version of the album is a Deluxe Edition and comes with a high gloss laminated gatefold cover, a printed insert and a digital download code. The CD packaging is Digipak with Slipcase, including a booklet with photos and liner notes outlining the story of the band.

Track descriptions:

Fog
The inspiration for this piece comes from the idyllic landscape of the Evros region, where the fog spreads along the valleys and hills at dawn. The kaval imitates the sound of the wind blowing through the trees. The percussion at the beginning of the song is called dakhares, one of the eldest instruments met in Thracian texts.

Maritsa
In Bulgarian "Maritsa" is the name for the Evros river, a name which is also used by Greek Thracians today. Culture knows of no geographic boundaries and the Balkan people are especially aware of that, as they have been mutually influenced both on the linguistic and on the musical level. Evritiki Zygia wrote this song as an homage to this shared cultural heritage. It is written in 6/8, a time signature very popular in the Balkans.

5 Nights
A love song common to refugees from Kavakli in Northern Thrace (Bulgaria). It is one of the many Thracian songs that refers to the trials one has to endure in the name of love. In this case, the song speaks of a young man who lay awake for 5 days and nights, dancing and singing under the house of his loved one, just to find out what her name was.

Karsilamas
Karsilamas has always been the motif musicians use to showcase their skills. A traditional group would usually play two or three phrases in unison, and after that each one improvises over the steady beat of the davul, interchanging freely between musical modes and following the pure inspiration of the moment.

Ormenion
Thracian musicians from past generations have passed along an invaluable musical heritage. Evritiki Zygia draws from that very tradition while adding their own fresh ideas, creating a tune where old and novel melodies are fused together.

Anastenariko (Firewalking Dance)
A true musical heirloom of Thracian culture, Anastenariko is one of the main melodies played during the ancient tradition of fire-walking ("anastenaria"). The participants of this old ritual walk barefoot on hot coals in a state of trance incited by the sounds of the lyre and the beat of the davul (a double headed drum). It is has been suggested that anastenaria date back to ancient Greek rituals performed within the cult of Dionysus.

The Sun is Setting Down
Fast and lively rhythms that excite the listener and urge him to dance are typical of Thracian traditional music. Improvisations follow incessantly one another, as the lyre embraces the bagpipes and the kaval, with the solos dancing around the main beat. The song invokes customs and traditions of Thrace, where celebrating is both a physical and an intellectual experience.