Routes through Athens

The English version of the CD titled Routes Through Athens,  released by Warner Music in October 2003. Both the book and the CD are available by contacting or e-mailing the writer.

Composer: Christos Nikolopoulos.

Sixteen songs about streets and quarters of Athens. Live recording from the presentation at the Athens ‘Lyriki Skini’ (Opera House) theatre  on 8 April, 2002. Released in December 2002.

WEA 50504662651 – 28. Singers: Kostas Makedonas, Bambis Tsertos, Pavlos Kontogiannidis and the ‘Dionyssios Lavrangas’ Athenian Choir and Mandolin Orchestra.

Routes Through Athens is a poetic and musical tour through the historical Athens city centre to places where monuments from all periods of the city’s history, from antiquity to the present day, stand side by side. Fondas Ladis started writing the poems in 1995 and completed them in autumn 2001 and were published in a book of poetry along with photographs of Athens. Composer Christos Nikolopoulos has set eleven of these to music, along with five others of similar content by the same poet, in a series of songs under the same title. They were released on one CD in December 2002 (Christos Nikolopoulos is the best known active composer of Greek popular music and on of the most widely acclaimed virtuoso bouzouki player).

In the work Routes Through Athens, the composer used an orchestra that includes mandolins and bouzoukis. In this way he marries the sound of the contemporary Greek urban song with the traditional Athenian mandolinata (an ensemble of mandolins), a throwback to the early 20th century, which has left a strong stamp and conjures up many memories in Greek musical composition today, but is also tied in to the tradition of the classic rembetiko.