Imagine there’s a place where music exists as it was first created, thousands and thousands of years ago, a place where song and dance still glued communities together across generations. That place exists: Epirus, a little pocket of northwestern Greece on the border with Albania. There, in scattered mountain villages, people still practice a musical tradition that predates Homer. This week, we’re revisiting our interview with Christopher King, an obsessive record collector—and Grammy-winning producer and musicologist—who goes on an odyssey to uncover Europe’s oldest surviving folk music, and spins us some rare 78s.
Go beyond the episode:
- Christopher King’s Lament from Epirus
- Buy LPs, CDs, or MP3s of Chris’s Epirotic collections, from Five Days Married and Other Laments to Why the Mountains Are Black
- Read Christopher King’s Paris Review essay, “Talk About Beauties,” about the lost recordings of Alexis Zoumbas
All images below courtesy of W. W. Norton.
Listen to A Lament for Epirus (1926–1928) by Alexis Zoumbas, mastered and produced by Christopher King
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.
Download the audio here (right click to “save link as …”)
Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes! Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman. Other music in this episode graciously provided by Christopher King.
Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.