Greek traditional from Smyrna (Izmir)
ALEXANDRA GRAVAS SONGBOOK 2 #discoveries
label: CalypsoAtlas LC 84931, Official release October 2018
Petros Bouras, piano
English translation of the Greek lyrics:
"Ah! foreign lands enjoy
my Tzivaeri (my treasure)
My fragrant flower ,
softly, softly, softly and humbly.
Ah! it was I who sent him away,
my Tzivaeri(my treasure),
of my own free will;
softly, softly, softly I tread the earth.
Ah! damn you foreign lands,
my Tzivaeri (my treasure),
you, and your promises.
Softly, softly, softly and humbly.
Ah! you took my child,
and you made him your own;
softly, softly, softly I tread the earth."
Five years have passed since SONGBOOK 1 was released. To be honest, I don’t have a clue how time was just able to pass me by that fast. Although, I did constantly have this little voice in my head reminding me, “Alexandra, go and start recording…” But I did not yet have a real concrete reason to do so. Why? Very simply, the songs were not there yet…not occupying my mind and soul. I have always believed that the songs meant to be sung by me, would find their way to reach me one way or another. And so they eventually did!
The last 5 years have been an incredible musical journey of DISCOVERIES for me. Extensive touring, meeting and greeting new audiences, making friends along my musical paths, discovering new cultures, their music and languages, from China to South America, the Middle East to my home country Greece, which, for the first time, I have been able to discover better by spending much more time in this beautiful country, at very tormented and controversial times. This album aims to rediscover the old, blend it with the new and create new stories without destroying the given beauty of the original songs. SONGBOOK 2 is all of that. A testimony of how far I can reach out to express myself and, hopefully, enrich my listener’s ears and souls. Alexandra
This album is dedicated to the ones I love most here on earth and in heaven, who made me what I am today.
Working with the finest musicians, technicians and artists in Athens was a great joy for which I am grateful for. Being surrounded by great talents and fab humans is a real joy. Thanks to the great Galan Trio (Dimitra Triantafyllou/violin, Marina Kolovou/cello, Petros Bouras/piano) for their wonderful and passionate playing ; Vivi Gkeka you are Greece’s mandolin treasure; Dimitris Kiousis your violin in Misirlou really rocks; Jannos Giovanos (alias “whatever name”) thanks for your generous cello playing and forgive me for always messing up your name on stage; a huge MERCI to my wonderful language advisers Stéphane Dado, Suha Khano, Irene Regos, Dimitra Gianouli, Mrs ZHANG XIAOMING, Liam Ó Brádaigh and Ms Loh Siew Tuan for all their help. Euxaristo Anthony Kyrou, my personal photographer, who knows which angle is right for me. George, the magician of sound from the Soundhouse Studios Athens….Thanasis Gikas the Master of Mastering; Euxaristo Flora Cavoura for your wonderful artwork and big heart! Petran (alias Petros Bouras) thank you for being such a wonderful pianist & friend & musician & you name it! Thanks for being always there! Thanks David Nachmias for your advice on some lyrics. And finally a huge EUXARISTO to the living legends of Greek music the composers Mikis Theodorakis, Mimis Plessas, Vangelis Papathanasiou for their great songs, their trust and support. Elies Moncholies gracias for the Spanish pearl “ITACA”!