The dotar is a two-stringed Iranian instrument, part of the long-necked lute family. Its sound is somewhat similar to that of the Turkish saz, though it’s played in a very different way.
Hamid Khezri “is renowned as a versatile musician equally at home in a wide range of musical styles ranging from the folk music of his North Khorassan home, the Sufi music of the South Khorassan deserts and the troubadour traditions of the mountains of North Khorassan to original compositions and a variety of cross-over projects.”
Some nice pictures from The Guardian. Some of the descriptions/interpretations offered in the captions are quite vague, or clearly wrong, but nevertheless the pictures here of Athens’ vibrant graffiti art scene are well worth perusing. There’s even one of Loukanikos, Greece’s “Riot Dog.” Now, that was a dog who knew what side to take.
Markos Vamvakaris, 1935. Here, his son, Stelios, plays the tune. Well worth listening to – this is perhaps the best taxim in the rebetika corpus. The taxim ends at 1:40 and then a traditional melody follows.
Sherita is a NYC-based band that explores “the acoustic traditions of the Balkans and Near East.” I had the opportunity to see them play at Barbes, in Park Slope, when I lived in NYC. They’re really outstanding – in all respects. And they’ve just released their first 5-track EP. It contains a mix of traditional Sephardic and original music. I recommend it highly.
Listen (and purchase) at Bandcamp.
The band’s website.
The BBC has an excellent long form story on Vassilis Paleokostas, Greece’s notorious “Robin Hood” figure. He’s escaped from Korydallos prison twice – by helicopter – and remains at large today, despite the sizable bounty placed on his head.
Take a look here.
An enormous tomb is currently under excavation at Amfipoli, Greece. It’s been all over the news, so you may have read about it already. But if not, here’s a website that collects information about the ongoing work:
The Amphipolis Tomb
Current thinking dates the complex to the Hellenistic period, just after Alexander (ca. end of the fourth century BC). But much remains unknown and conclusions, at present, are tentative.
The Loeb Classical Library – whose little green and red volumes contain between them nearly the entire corpus of classical Greek and Latin literature (with facing English translations) – is going digital this fall. From the website:
“…the introduction of the digital Loeb Classical Library presents an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing, virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians; those Church fathers who made particular use of the Classics—in short, our entire Greek and Latin Classical heritage is represented here with up-to-date texts and accurate and literate English translations. 523 volumes of fully searchable Latin, Greek, and English texts are available in a modern and elegant interface, allowing readers to browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content with ease.”
Take a look at the announcement on the HUP site.