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A touch of Greece

Media release by Rosemary Cadden

A choir of women, The Sirens, was created during the Women's Suffrage Centenary to help develop an awareness of Greek culture in Australia - and to provide an opportunity for people to find out that there is more to Greek music than the bouzouki!

And the members of The Sirens, ranging from experienced singers to women who purely enjoy the chance to sing with others, enjoyed themselves so much, they have formed a permanent choir to continue to sing Greek songs in the community. The choir sings songs that relate to women all over the world with powerful lyrics which tell of the experiences that all women share.

The Sirens, named after Greek mythological singing sea nymphs who lured sailors to their peril with their sweet voices, include women who have emigrated to Australia as children or as adults, women from Greek backgrounds and Australians who love Greek music and culture.

Following a series of workshops led by musical director Demeter Tsounis, The Sirens, backed by the Meraki Ensemble, was launched at the Nexus Cabaret in the Lion Arts Centre, corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street, Adelaide, on Sunday November 20, when their performance varied from traditional Greek songs based on rural life to contemporary, urban songs - all telling stories of working life, love and hope. Some songs illustrated how musicians and composers have used symbolism in times of oppression to promote messages which would otherwise have been censored.

The choir, one of the projects funded through the Women's Suffrage Centenary community grant scheme, and sponsored by the Multicultural Artworkers Committee was seen as a powerful way of building confidence and pride within women.

During the workshops the women spoke of the joy of sharing Greek music with others from their homeland and introducing Greek music to Australian choir members. They spoke of the Greek tradition that still sees everyone joining in singing in Greek village life, with music seen as part of their daily lives.

"It is good for us to get in touch with our roots," was a common comment. "It gives an understanding of where you came from, that you are a whole person, not just someone living in someone else's land."

They also spoke of the importance of song: it's importance in keeping alive wonderful traditions and it's importance as a means of keeping the language alive for Australians from Greek backgrounds.


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This page last updated on Friday 11 April, 2014 15:16



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