CULTURE

Hadjidakis label takes a walk on the ‘ethnic’ side

Seirios, the record company founded by Manos Hadjidakis, is heading down a new path, as its four new albums containing music from abroad all show. With a focus on all major events both in Greece and abroad, the company redefined its identity, while «maintaining the standards of aesthetics and content stated by its founder,» said Giorgos Hadjidakis, who is in charge of the company. The aim is to present new material based on interesting compositions from all over the world, while still giving priority to Greek material. New productions include the Barcelona scene, hip-hop, rare recordings of Manos Hadjidakis and Melina Mercouri, the performance of Lorca’s «Blood Wedding» starring Katina Paxinou, «Amorgos» and many others. This year’s first release was «Ojos De Brujo: Bari,» a surprising release, as was also the case with «Barcelona Zona Bastarda,» which presents the dynamic Barcelona scene. Immigrant musicians, mostly Arabs and Africans, who collaborate with Manu Chao, present a new musical trend which the Barcelona music industry decided to promote, instead of marginalizing it. The few Seirios copies were sold out in five days; new orders have been placed. That album, along with «El Ventialador,» which precedes the Barcelona scene and its sequel, the funk album «Barcelona-Raval Sessions,» aim to get the Greek public acquainted with the Barcelona music trend, according to Nikos Tsivoulidis from the Seirios group. «Siriopolis,» to be released in a few days, contains music from all over the world, including singer Javier Ruibal, Malouma, an activist from Mauritania who writes songs to raise the awareness of women and Steven Brown from Tuxedomoon. «The album is about musical traditions. It is not a display by a musicology institute or some sort of musical wallpaper, as ethnic music is perceived today.» The Seirios catalog also includes «America, America,» while in March, Stella Gadedi and Giorgos Mouloudakis’s «Soma me Soma» will be released. The next release, in April, will be a live recording of Nikos Kypourgos’s Garden Theater performance at the Athens Concert Hall. Seirios is currently preparing Manos Hadjidakis’s «Amorgos,» which will hopefully be ready for release at the end of May. The cantata is based on the poem by Nikos Gatsos of the same title and is performed by an enlarged version of the Manos Hadjidakis Music Ensemble, conducted by Loukas Karytinos and orchestrated by Nikos Kypourgos, featuring Maria Farandouri, Tassis Christoyiannopoulos and Doros Dimosthenous. The CD «Manos Hadjidakis-Melina Mercouri,» to be released in June in collaboration with the Melina Mercouri Foundation, will contain rare recordings. It will be followed by Panayiotis Stefos’s adaptations of ancient Greek music in September and the recording of the Cultural Olympiad’s tribute to Hadjidakis, with artists from all over the world. Autumn will kick off with the release of a CD by Earthbound (alternative rock by Alexis Kalofolias and Thanos Amorginos) and the Seirios Theater Sessions: previously unreleased compositions for theater by well-known composers and as yet unrecorded compositions by relatively unknown composers. The release of «35mm: Film music by Manos Hadjidakis» is scheduled to take place at Christmastime and the same applies to an edition containing the greatest Seirios hits from 1993 onward, when the company became independent and started to release its own productions. At about the same time, the luxury edition of «Katina Paxinou: The entire performance of ‘Blood Wedding’,» staged at the Rex Theater in 1970 and directed by Alexis Minotis, will also be released. The adaptation was by Nikos Gatsos and the music by Hadjidakis. Every release will also be presented live: According to Giorgos Hadjidakis, the Sfendoni Theater will host recitals and live performances. Finally, Seirios is also working on the release of extracts by writer Grigorios Vyziinos, staged by Anna Kokkinou.