In the summer of 1979, Greek folk singer Domna Samiou (1928-2012) travelled around Sweden. Accompanying her was her folk music group, consisting of musicians from various parts of Greece, handpicked by Domna herself, as well as the dance troupe Eleni Tsaouli. Caprice Records made several recordings in connection to this tour, which lead to an album release in 1980. The tour and its resulting record had a profound impact, not only on the roughly 20 000 Greeks living in Sweden at the time, but also on many Swedes who, before this, had perhaps only come in contact with the music of Mikis Theodorakis or the occasional bouzouki melody on a holiday visit to Greece. Here, the audience was introduced to the multifaceted musical treasure of Greece, and learned about its historical background.
Domna Samiou is one the most prominent figures in Greek folk music, both as a singer and a researcher. She collected thousands of texts and folk melodies throughout Greece, i.a. during a five year peregrination in her homeland. She also collected vast amounts of material from Greeks in the diaspora.
Domna Samiou was born in Athens in one of the neighbourhoods where many of the Greeks from Anatolia had settled down after being expelled from Turkey. This led to Athens and Piraeus becoming a melting pot of different musical styles. A musically rich childhood with a singing father laid the foundation for her great interest in music, even though the economy was poor and life sometimes quite austere. Domna was discovered in her early teens by researcher, musician and pedagogue Simon Karas, who came to mean a lot for her development in the field.
In 1954, Domna began working for the then Greek Radio Broadcasting Service’s division of domestic music, mainly as a researcher and a producer. It would take another 20 years, however, before she released her own first record, with her performing popular Greek songs. Domna became very famous in Greece after the fall of the military junta in 1974, as she toured frequently both in and outside Greece. Her contribution to Greek folk music simply cannot be overstated.
The album Ξενητεμένο μου πουλí (freely translated here as My Bird in Exile) was not just intended as a documentation of an acclaimed tour, it also reflected the music as a distillation of Greek culture, thought, history, and art.
In collaboration with the Domna Samiou Greek Folk Music Association we now reissue this album for the first time on CD, digitally remastered, with 9 bonus tracks and new texts by Miranda Terzopoulou, who worked closely together with Domna Samiou. In the comprehensive booklet, there is also information and descriptions of the 25 tracks on this album, as well as translation of the lyrics in English.
Read more about Domna Samiou and her work: http://www.domnasamiou.gr/?i=portal.en.home