REBETIKO: Music Without Frontiers
The Famous SOAS Ad Hoc Rebetiko Band is organising a tour to Istanbul, Athens and the Island of Hydra in October 2008. We shall perform Greek and Anatolian music with local musicians in both countries. Performances will be accompanied by public study sessions exploring the cultural roots of the music in our Rebetiko repertoire, and its common heritage. This will take the form of joint seminars in Istanbul, Athens and Hydra.
The band is made up of fifteen professional, semi-professional and amateur musicians based in London. It grew out of Ed Emery’s seminars at the School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS] and monthly jam sessions in a London pub in Clerkenwell. It brings together Greek, Turkish, Cypriot, and British musicians. Our repertoire includes music from the Greek, Turkish, Arabic and Jewish musical traditions.
The composition of the band reflects the roots of Rebetiko in the common culture of the Aegean and Anatolia and Greece. Rebetiko was born at the beginning of the twentieth century out of the emigration and population exchanges that followed the First World War. It sings of hardship, prison, poverty, war and love. It is unsentimental and unromantic but at the same time moving and human. As well as melody and lyric, dance is a vital element of Rebetiko, in particular the Hasapiko of old Constantinople and the Zeibekiko of Anatolia. Our performances invariably end in spontaneous dancing by the audience.
The histories of the peoples of the Aegean are often tragic, not least at the hands of each other. Our songs commemorate them. At the same time, by making music together, we celebrate a common heritage and embody hope for the future of this culturally rich and dynamic part of the Mediterranean.
The tour will receive extensive coverage in the British, Greek and Turkish media, with full acknowledgement of our sponsors. The tour will culminate in a major concert in London, as our thank-you to the friends and sponsors who have made it possible.
DATE: Friday 10 October:
DATE: Saturday 11 October:
DATE: Sunday 12 October
Time: 20.00 hours.
DATE: Monday 13 October:
An article about our tour can be found at http://mondediplo.com/2008/08/06music
The website for the Hydra conference is: www.geocities.com/rebetology