This semester, Dr. Yona Stamatis taught a mini-course entitled "Musical Nationalism in Times of Crisis: A Greek Case Study." This course invited students to explore the socio-political repercussions of the current global economic crisis through the framework of music. Our case study was Greece, a nation situated on the margins of the European Union but at the focal point of the current financial and cultural crisis. Click the link to listen to various musical selections from the course and to read selected student comments.
Rebetiki story on Public Radio
Yona Stamatis was interviewed live on Detroit Public Radio on April 24, 2009, together with the Exarcheia band Rebetiki Istoria which the next day gave a remarkable 3-hour rebetika concert in front of a 500-people capacity audience at the Music School of the University.
Stamatis, a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology, interviewed Holst-Warhaft, distinguished scholar, poet, translator, and musician, as part of preparation for her Master’s thesis “Mikis Theodorakis’s Epitaphios, and the Redefinition of Greek Folk Music”.
Theodorakis said once that "most popular music makes you forget. Greek music makes you remember." In Milan Kundera's great parable for a totalitarian regime, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Tamina is imprisoned on an island inhabited by children.
I experienced a recent performance by Savina Yannatou, who provided more than just a soundtrack for my meditations. Rather, she provided a sonic analog that expanded and heightened the perceptions I had garnered through my karmic meanderings.