re: uncontrollable suffering

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Wed Nov 14 2001 - 03:45:09 MST

>Andy Toth:
>> Did you dance? :-)
>not traditional foot scraping, no. :)

must not have had a tsifteteli rhythm ...:-)

>however, i do detect the suffering;
>but it is not really part of my cortex.

For some, it probably _is_ part of the cortex; the "artist" personality
types: Rudolf Nureyev, Maria Callas, Ingmar Bergman, J.D. Salinger,
Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Sting.. for example.

>> Greeks dance when they are grieving to get their suffering out.

>why isn't it sublimated into something else?

because they like it ? (and 2000+ years of doing it might
have something to do with it)

>for how can the suffering be absolved if the dance is
>self-referencing (to suffering).

i see your point (interesting feedback loop)

>what leads me to: is this not coming from
> the culture? and at what stimulus interval threshold can the culture
>/overcome, use, modify/ the material coming from the government?

we pay the government to make our lives miserable.. you see. so the
Greeks have that spot on :-)

>most of the popular songs say "yes, i concur, i love you, purchase, america,
>life: examine it for a second, i love you"
>but i dont know if that is as characteristic as rebetika.

If you can find original 1930s Greek rebetika, please try. You might
be rolling on the floor in laughter, at least my Greek friend was
when I was playing mine for her. The Greek is very slangy, and the
singing is often very bad. The words are both poetic (one sings
about a girl who "makes the stars fall from the sky" and then a
backgound singer says: "what? that girl made your head into an
idiot"), another song talks about a policeman who keeps beating him
up when he's lying on the street. These are really down-and-out
homeless 'bums' who's largest crimes are mostly being high or drunk
or maybe getting into a fight with someone else, or maybe stealing
some money from their girlfriend. You can instantly hear the mix of
the 'asian Greeks' because the music sounds oriental. The songs are
often slow, the bad singing thick, giving a picture of a drunk guy
shuffling his feet, and the music is extremely expressive- it puts
you right there. This is really original stuff: utterly charming (imo),
quite serious at the time, and probably very funny for a Greek to
listen to today.

I need to hear more modern rebetika, but if you want 'traditional'
totally danceable 'European' acoustic music go to
They might be 'pioneers', except that they have been playing this
sort of music for 20 years. A violinist, accordianist, clarinetist,
bouzouki -ist? (he plays guitar too). They have Greek rebetika pieces,
Macedonian pieces, some klezmer music, some Armenian folk, some
Ukranian, some Romany. It's music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, all
traditional, and puts you in the emotional mood of the time (and
your feet will not help themselves to move). And this group is much
better live than on their CDs (I've seen them several times in Heidelberg).

It's snowing here...! First of the season. Nice to see some
white stuff, but I hope it's warmer down there.


P.S. Your last name is Hungarian, and you said that you are an
American boy studying in Thessaloniki. I guess you are a
'homefull' person too.

Amara Graps, PhD email:
Computational Physics vita:
Multiplex Answers URL:
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." --Anais Nin

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