Saturday, 6 August 2011

Learn modern Greek with Christos

It was finished in December. It was hard parting with this composition, like giving a child away. I still miss it, to tinker with and call my own. It took me 18 months, on and off, to write.

 Trio Hoboken: Saskia Lethiec (violin), Eric Picard (cello), Jérôme Granjon (piano)

Anyway, since then it's been with Saskia, Jérôme and Eric, the musicians who are going to give it its first performance on Friday, June 15th, in the little 9th-Century chapel called the Prieuré de St Julien, below.

Prieuré de St Julien, Hérault département, France

It's crammed with visual images, mostly about the village. The up-and-down outline of its shape. Crocodiles of infant classes going to the school canteen. The village cats. A lizard, even. The youth of the village assembling behind the bus shelter, revving their bikes. A little old lady dancing - in this instance, trying to do the Gay Gordons without falling over. The time in about 1930 when the church roof fell in during Mass. (No one was hurt. A miracle?) The monsoon-like rain that sometimes soaks us. A love duet for cello and violin, over a plainchant accompaniment, inspired by the Prieuré, the place where it will actually have its first performance. The strong  Spanish element in local dances...

Do you (i.e. does anyone) see pictures, form visual impressions when you listen to music? Of events, or places, or people? I know I do. One of the poverties of modern popular music is that it depends so heavily on the visual, and the visual becomes more important than the music. It's all done for you, your choice in the matter has been stolen from you. Is this a terribly unfashionable, indeed arrogant, thing to say?

Anyway, I've managed to cram about 5 minutes'-worth of extracts here:

With this time limit it isn't possible to include all the things listed above. It's not the real thing - I'll post that after performance, all being well - it's the approximation my composition software comes up with. I hope you enjoy it. And if you should happen to be in this area on June 15th, do come to the concert, details here, click on CONCERTS 2012. I should be so pleased to see you.

(Copyright 2011, of course, though it seems churlish to mention it. But you have my full permission to hum the tunes if you want to.)


Vicus Scurra said...

I am glad that your picture was in jpeg format ... have you guessed where I am going with this?

Christopher said...

Oh dear. Jpeg. J-cloth. Clothes peg. What-a-fusstanella. El Alamein. Cairo. Chi-ro. Pom-poms. Pommie b******s. Scrooge-type nightcaps. Humbug.

No, dear friend, I'm euchred.

*scratches head. Calls for obliging waiter*

Friko said...

Galli mera, Christos, efgharisto.

Thank you for putting me into your blogroll. Would you make the relationship public, please, by also joining me in my followers column?

It's not obligatory, but it would make this γυναίκα ευτυχής.

Christopher said...

Με την ευχαριστηση, στρατιωτης

Dave said...

I can say 'In the beginning was the Word' (and a few more verses from John 1) in NT Greek. I've never found it of any great help when actually in Greece.

Christopher said...

You must have been like that Brit character in Captain Corelli's Mandolin whose Classical Greek was represented by the author as Chaucerian English.

If you want to join my dream-club, there are three places still vacant. Bring a guest - or two - if you like.

Z said...

Alex took his Latin O level (or GCSE, I can't quite remember when the changeover was) a year early, so took up ancient Greek to while away the time. I was very keen, I'd always wanted to learn Greek. Sadly, it was too late. My brain wasn't up to it any more. In my youth, though, I dreamed in fluent Latin. Mind you, when I woke up, I never had any idea what I'd said.

dinahmow said...

My demotic's chaotic
My Classic's forgot.
That's why I don't speak
A lot.

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

Good for you for making a valiant attempt to not be another gaudy English speaking tourist, and thanks for the tips. I'd definitely like to go there someday myself.

Christopher said...

Z: Nevertheless I hope there are many occasions when you feel stirred to say 'This is the life!' when looking in the mirror.

MIT: If only 'Dinah' rhymed with 'κοινη' I wouldn't be reduced to humming that incantation of struggling juvenile Greek prose translators:
Dinah, Dinah, show us your lex-
Show us your lex-
Show us your lex-
Icon, O Dinah, Dinah,
Show us your lex-

etc., etc.

EMM: Welcome. I see you are a fellow-member of the polysyllabic nomenklatura, but I doubt if this will save you from being locked up if you try using the Greek expressions outlined in this post. It could be like saying 'Hello, Sailor' once bit too often. Never mind, I'm sure I and my modest following will be happy to come and push tzatziki and moussaka through the bars for you.

Vicus Scurra said...

Beware of Greeks bearing gifs.

I am so sorry.

Christopher said...

Please excuse me, Vicus: I may take a moment or two to recover.

letouttoplay said...

The only Greek word I reliably remember is thalassa (thalassa!). My parents had some sort of joke which involved saying it whenever we reached the sea.

I do love the pom-poms.

Christopher said...

'Thalassa', yes, I remember, in Xenophon, a bizarre name meaning 'with a foreign accent'. It was what his army shouted back down the line when, having marched northwards across what's now Syria, Kurdistan and eastern Turkey they at last saw the Black Sea.