The ‘Elegy of the Uprooting’ released by independent ECM

Two years ago, Manfred Eicher chose to come to Greece for the presentation of his friend Eleni Karaindrou’s soundtrack for «The Weeping Meadow» although he was being honored with a Grammy Award that day. Eicher, founder of ECM, one of the most credible independent labels in the world, was recently here again for the launch of Karaindrou’s «Elegy of the Uprooting,» a double album tracing the artist’s musical career. She describes the album’s release as a «top moment.» This is the seventh collaboration between Eicher and Karaindrou. The current album features the Camerata Orchestra, under the baton of Alexandre Myrat, the ERT (Greek Radio & TV) Choir directed by Antonis Kontogeorgiou, a team of excellent musicians and top vocalist Maria Farandouri. This is Karaindrou’s first recording with ECM and focuses on her concerts at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron Mousikis), featuring 110 musicians. She called the album a «landmark in her career» and said it was not merely the recording of a concert, but the depiction of a stance of life of uprooted people. Her music, which she sees as a «prayer of uprooting,» is about the hordes of immigrants who seem to increase in number more and more. Focusing mostly on the soundtrack of Theodoros Angelopoulos’s «Weeping Meadow» and the music for Euripides’ tragedy «The Trojan Women,» directed by Antonis Antypas, the album also features other works of Karaindrou’s on the same topic, ranging from Angelopoulos’s «Ulysses’ Gaze» and his «Eternity and a Day» to Tonia Marketaki’s «Price of Love,» Christophoros Christophis’s «Rosa» and more. At the presentation, Farandouri talked about the preparation for the album and referred to Eicher as a «co-creator.» She added that she considered the album «maybe the most mature moment musically» in Karaindrou’s career. Myrat declared himself proud to have participated in the project, while Eicher spoke about how uplifting he finds the Greek composer’s music: «I am grateful that this music exists in such barbaric times.»