CULTURE

The magic of ‘Savvorama’ concerts is captured on CD

From heavily solemn to outright exuberant, one moment conducting the highbrow, Athens-based Camerata Orchestra and the next, minus the elegant smoking jacket, leading the audience astray with guitar in hand, the influential songwriter Dionysis Savvopoulos had a ball during Savvorama, last year’s career-spanning, three-day, self-tribute at the Athens Concert Hall. The shows were recorded, and now, approximately a year later, excerpts have been released as a live recording on a double-CD edition. The album, which contains 140 minutes of music, spans the artist’s entire career, from Ta Poulia Tis Dystichias, Savvopoulos’s first-ever recording in 1964 to Protohronies Tou Radiophonou, culled from 1999’s Chronopoios. A lively, thought-provoking entertainer equipped with razor-sharp wit, Savvopoulos had enhanced his tribute’s zeal by adorning the stage with playful paintings by the artist Alexis Kyritsopoulos for a theater of songs, as the artist described the three-day event. What else could one ask for? jested Savvopoulos, with his wife, Aspa, and old friends, including the director Nikos Panagiotopouos and artist Alekos Fasianos, at his side during a recent press conference for the CD’s launch. The 57-year-old Savvopoulos vividly recalled moments during his life that have marked his life and work, as well as his approach in reworking older songs for Savvorama. How did I play them? The way I feel them now. They’re not museum items, or masterpieces that nobody can touch, Savvopoulos said. Responding to the question of whether he felt that his material depicted the artist’s personal course or the history of an entire period, a puzzled Savvopoulos said he hoped his work’s legacy contained a combination of both. I’d like to think both. But I don’t have the answer. Some memories have entirely waned. The only thing left is the martyrs, a crossroad, a coffee shop, a song… he said. In shaping the three-day event’s repertoire, Savvopoulos said it was ordered more or less chronologically, without necessarily including hit songs. Commenting on the songwriter’s impact on Greek song, Fasianos highlighted the uniqueness he sensed in Savvopoulos’s songwriting. His music does not sound like any other. It stems from the flow of daily life, Fasianos remarked. It’s ‘Greek’ music and we like it because it paved a new way.