The Music of Epirus

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

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The village square in Vitsa, Epirus.

 

During 2015, following a recent loss, I became fascinated by the music of Epirus in Northwestern Greece, and in particular with the ancient funeral laments, known as mirologis. I discovered that in summer the villages of Epirus would all hold festivals during which the musicians would play all night in the village square, starting and finishing with a mirologi. The rest of the time, however, they would play dance tunes and the whole village would dance around the band in a circle. In the summer of 2015 I travelled there for the first time to find out more – and discovered an extraordinary living folk tradition. I returned in 2016 in the company of a film crew, led by the excellent Irish director, Paul Duane. Together we are working on a feature length documentary celebrating this music and exploring its roots in Greek antiquity and its capacity to speak to our understanding of the mystery of death.

This is the piece of music that ignited my fascination.

 

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