WIND, LOVE AND SALTINESS
“Like the marbles of Polis which are in Hagia Sophia
that’s how you have matched eyes, eyebrows and hair… ”
“Roumbalia carnation plant the birds are ambulating you
who are joined in the little branches my dear and are exchanging kisses… ”
“You are a sun and a bright moon
who dazzled my vision and I can’t see… ”
“I love you because you are beautiful, I love you because it’s you
and I love the entire world because you live in it as well. ”
Amazing words of our folk traditions, of important songs of our land. Every lyric, every musical line, awakes memories in me.
I was born, I walked, I was raised, I lived and I live with all these events that were filled with folk songs.
I’m closing my eyes and I’m wandering there, then…
The musical instruments in diapason and the people were enjoying the feast, while I was listening their echo from my house and I couldn’t resist for a minute, by running to meet my friends to enjoy these beautiful things, the sweet melodies, the loud speech where everyone was happy. With our hands joined we were dancing sometimes in simple and sometimes in more rocking rhythms and dynamic dances. I leave and I feel fulfilled.
That’s plenty for me.
The first times I’ve heard folk songs were from my grandfather Nikola. I will never forget his low energy voice narrating and singing. He didn’t have a good voice but through its sound he carried so many things from his difficult years he lived. I was listening to my grandparents stories from a very young age which later I found them in the folk songs. It is very true and surprising of how many feelings can be carried for many years in a song.
Glory to God, our Byzantine music was inhaled with the best way possible from our ancestors, in a way that today we can enjoy these simple, these sweet, these mature, melodies with the amazing writing. Our folk songs. All of these that have accumulated the breathes of our ancestors. The fast or the slow, the happy or the sad, the loved or the bitter, the first or the last. Our folk songs that have been written from the mothers singing lullabies to their babies, to the dirge of the last breath of the departed person.
It’s shocking, the role that played and that plays the folk song in our genus.
The magic here is of how through the melody we are expressing every feeling in such a direct way. I remembered when my mother was singing lullabies to me as little child, I was sleeping very emotionally charged. I was caring all the longing pain off the immigrants and who knows what else of the past. And all of this because of the sound, of the desire, that was coming out of my mother’s expression it was a longing pain, because she was raised with her eyes looking up and been optimistic for a better day.
I will never forget my parents telling us stories about the uprooting and the foreign land, that I remember vividly when I am listening the song “Tzivaeri” and many other songs.
I will never forget the eternal adverses between the daughters in law and mothers in law that reminds me the song “Archontogios pantrevete”.
I would never forget the wonderful emotions I was feeling at the feasts of my village by listening the songs “Arambas perna”, “Eche gia Panagia”, “Ena karavi apo tin Chio”, and many other songs.
In this albums the songs I’ve selected are mostly about love. The reason why it’s because they are the most durable ones in our time because they are expressing all the ages and all the periods but also to remind to those who are writing or listening love songs that the true love songs are the ones which are carrying all the virtues that love is sparing us.
There are songs of the Asian Minor, Propontide, Polis and the Aegean. Locations that gave birth to many wonderful melodies filled with nobility. Also a Pontian songs that refers to the mother in an ideal way as an indication of honor and respect to all mothers and nevertheless to the Pontian race.
Embraced though with these songs and the boat of our genus, we will sail from the Black Sea to Bosporus and to Polis we will pass through the Propontide, the Hellespont and we will sail wide open to the Aegean Sea and the White Sea.
We will travel with these songs like the refugees did while leaving their land behind and taking their journey by coming to Greece. Having with them very few of their belongings by managing to save all the unaltered treasures deeply in their hearts.
Treasures that have been expressed through the songs. And mouth by mouth ended up to us.
Beautiful years but difficult. Holding in them a huge power and shine which are proportional with the hearts of their creators.
Dressed in the surplice of the wind Petros Gaitanos very fondly is bringing us in the light of the birth sea with its saltiness and its longing pain.
He is a very modern artist of our times with a Byzantine sparkle from the dayless and timeless vigil of our race. He faces the solemnly tradition with the briskness of his youth and he offers us his songs with an erotic bondage of blessings. The amazing ability of his art is been able to be carried from the biblical pages to the climaxes of hymnology and later to our precious folk song and lastly to the contemporary song by defining constantly a renewable surprise.
His voice contains a prayerful feeling and an erotic beat of the post Byzantine Aegean.
He sang very uniquely the eternal songs of Mikis Theodorakis because these songs are carrying the gladness of the Greek duration.
For the songs of his present harvest I won’t be referring to in details. Our precious Phevronia Revinthi who is providing passion and knowledge will take care of this.
I would talk about the afterimage of Petros Gaitanos’ selections, the ones for once more are revealing his indefatigable concentration in the holy and the salty of the genuine root.
Songs from the Black to the White Sea, which they blessed and they calmed the life of the Greeks of their fourfold history in the fourfold Pontus.
These songs are opening a window in the holy light of hope and response, the nostalgia and the erotic cool breeze request. These songs are the statures of the universal memory and the universal search of the Greeks, they are the songs of the sea that have been rooted in the souls of the Greeks. The Aegean is the swaddling cloth, is the bright blue diaper of our babyish dreams, is the iconostasis and the holy candle of our ancestors. In its salty root the world is getting smaller and the longing pain is getting bigger. Chests filled with dowry, templates, with oblations, structures with two-headed eagles, tanks with deep mystery, evening vespers and evening services and orthros, embroiderings and floaters, cypresses and rosemaries and million of others fragrances is the absolute and his precise legacy.
Stony balconies dominated by the Pounentes (westerly wind), waves of Tramountana (northerly wind), supplications to Saint Nicholas the Yemetzis, are the ordinary varieties of the fishermen.
Black headscarf dressed mothers, unrelenting young women, fiancées and holy old ladies of the Salutations.
Gemitzithes, peasants with tortoiseskin hands, heroes of toil and poverty, who Alexandros Papadiamantis praised them.
Cloaks and armatures, departures and returns and travels without returns that paint our islands black. From the Black Sea to the White Sea, well, wind, love and saltiness with the voice of Petros Gaitanos, they will give us the gift in return of the truth and the emotion. At the castles and at the firehouses, at the capes and at the coves of Romiosity we will worship the holy Bottle of reminiscence.
Vigils for the winds for the ghosts, love that becomes veins of blood and tears. Musical shades that are emitting the Greek era, aegean, weakly wheat cobs, peace and battle, raids, piracies and shipwrecks, things ours and unheard of, marine wood and tzivaeria and rose waters and plagues. In the shipyards they’re caulking the schooners and in the ocean are scattering the fragrance of the amaranth eros and the unbearable misery of the homecoming.
Inconsolable sea of the mothers who are petrifying you. The fiancées who are praising you and are scarred of you. The young sailors do love you as much as you are storm-tossing them.
Glorious sea, White and Black and bright blue, sea and wind, eros and saltiness, light and darkness, hope, Our Fate and Resurrection!