Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music” as Want to Read:
Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In a gramophone shop in Istanbul, renowned record collector Christopher C. King uncovered some of the strangest—and most hypnotic—sounds he had ever heard. The 78s were immensely moving, seeming to tap into a primal well of emotion inaccessible through contemporary music. The songs, King learned, were from Epirus, an area straddling southern Albania and northwestern Greece ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by W. W. Norton Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lament from Epirus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lament from Epirus

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  145 ratings  ·  24 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music
foteini_dl
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το Ηπειρώτικο Μοιρολόι δεν είναι μόνο για τους Ηπειρώτες, ούτε για αυτούς που αγαπάνε τη δημοτική μουσική. Είναι για κάθε άνθρωπο που αισθάνεται δικό του ένα τόπο μέσω της μυστηριακής και αρχέγονης δύναμης της μουσικής.

Τα μεθύσια με τσίπουρο, τα (αυθεντικά) πανηγύρια με τους χορούς τους, ειδικά αυτά της Βίτσας, οι φιλίες, και φυσικά η δημώδης μουσική της Ηπείρου μπλέκονται με τη μυθολογία και την ιστορία, και γεννάνε ένα βιβλίο που κινείται ανάμεσα στη μουσικολογική μελέτη, το ταξιδιωτικό ημερολ
...more
Eva Pliakou
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένα αριστούργημα, όχι μόνο για λάτρεις της παραδοσιακής μουσικής, όχι μόνο για Ηπειρώτες. Ένα οδοιπορικό στην ιστορία της Ηπείρου, μια προσωπική μαρτυρία για τη μυστηριακή σύνδεση που μας ενώνει με τόπους, μουσικές και ανθρώπους. Ένα βιβλίο που σε κάνει να ξαναπιστεύεις στη ζωή.
Περισσότερα εδώ:
http://skra-punk.com/2019/03/03/pente...
...more
Petros Topouzis
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ξεκινάμε με την παραδοχή ότι ο άνθρωπος δεν είναι συγγραφέας – είναι παραγωγός μουσικής και μανιώδης συλλέκτης δίσκων 78 στροφών (δεν νομίζω ότι έχει γράψει άλλο βιβλίο εκτός από αυτό). Ορθώς λοιπόν χαρακτηρίζει το βιβλίο του από το εξώφυλλο κιόλας ως προσωπικό «οδοιπορικό» χωρίς να διεκδικεί άλλο χαρακτηρισμό για το έργο του.
Τα παραπάνω τα γράφω για να ξέρει ο καθένας τι να (μην) περιμένει και τι να δικαιολογήσει αν επιλέξει να το διαβάσει.
Όσον αφορά το βιβλίο λοιπόν, είναι εξαιρετικό! Και είνα
...more
Chris Giotitsas
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being from Epirus myself I find this account of a outsider turned insider quite moving considering how I also left home years ago. While my own relationship with the land and its people is complicated to say the least I found the author's enthousiasm for the music awakening memories of events from my youth (like my grandfather singing) which I did not truly appreciate at the time.

Can't say whether the viewpoint presented in the book regarding the local customs would be shared by people actually
...more
Ombledroom είναι η θεία Κούλα
Ένας Αμερικάνος συλλέκτης δίσκων 78 στροφών από την Βιρτζίνια πάει διακοπές στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, πέφτει πάνω σε κάτι δισκάκια της δεκαετίας του '20 με κλαρίνα και βιολιά από την Ήπειρο, γράφει ένα βιβλίο για τη δημοτική μουσική της Ηπείρου, του Αλέξη Ζούμπα και του Κίτσου Χαρισιάδη, τη μουσική μπλουζ του του Blind Willie Johnson, τη μουσική των ουράνιων σωμάτων, του Πυθαγόρα και του Voyager 1, τη μουσική που παρηγορεί, τη μουσική που φέρνει κάθαρση, τη μουσική που θεραπεύει την απώλεια, που απ ...more
Richard
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating exploration of the folk music of Epirus that touches on anthropology and cultural history in order to interrogate the very meaning of music and how it relates to society in general.

Some examples of the music in question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JysmJ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvtoW...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHghE...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P3Gz...
...more
Konstantinos Kalampokis
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well written book. A journey through the history of time that describes the impact music has on our lives focusing on the northwest of Greece, Epirus. It is not a life changing book but is a book that definitely changed my perception about music in my homeland. Recommend it for a nice read.
Caroline
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book five stars not because I agreed with everything it said, but because everything it said was interesting. It first got my attention in the New York Review because while I don't think you could say my grandfather and grandmother were actually FROM Epirus (they weren't Greek! my grandfather hated Greeks almost as much has he hated Turks!), they came from right on the edge of it where Albanian, Aroman, Greek, Turk, Roma, Christian, Muslim, Jew mingled in a combustible sort of social ...more
Crazytourists_books
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brace2020_2
Πρόκειται για ένα εξαιρετικό βιβλίο. Δεν ξέρω αν με άγγιξε περισσότερο λόγω καταγωγης, αλλά διαβάζοντας της σελίδες νιώθεις να χτυπάνε πάνω σου κύματα αγάπης. Για τη μουσική, τους ανθρώπους, τη γη της Ηπείρου. Και αυτό από μόνο του είναι εκπληκτικό
Anna
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Όταν ακούω έναν παλιό δίσκο γραμμοφώνου ή μια σημερινή επιτόπια ηχογράφηση μουσικής από τη βορειοδυτική Ελλάδα, διακρίνω τα εξής τέσσερα χαρακτηριστικά: πρώτον, η μουσική της Ηπείρου έχει αρχαίες ρίζες με αδιάσπαστη συνέχεια, δεύτερον, υπάρχει μια απίστευτη συναισθηματική ένταση, τρίτον, υπάρχει ένας αδιάρρηκτος δεσμός ανάμεσα στο χώμα και τους ανθρώπους και τέταρτον, αναγνωρίζω μια άφατη διάσταση η οποία αποκαλύπτει κάτι βαθύ για την ανθρώπινη κατάσταση. (σελ. 34)
Vuk Trifkovic
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great stuff! Lovely story of Epirus and its music in specific and the Balkans in general. Crumb's illustrations put a little extra too.

The only thing it grates is the constant comparison with delta blues. Why must *every* musical tradition across the world be refracted through that comparison? Not a biggie, though. Go read.
Το γράμμα Ι The letter.i
Ένας αφοσιωμένος συλλέκτης δίσκων 78 στροφών απογοητευμένος από οτιδήποτε έχει να προσφέρει η σύγχρονη μουσική, βρίσκει την αυθεντικότητα και το νόημα της μουσικής στην Ήπειρο. Ο Κρίστοφερ Κινγκ μας ξεναγεί στην Ήπειρο με τα δικά του μάτια με τον τρόπο που μπορεί μόνο κάποιος που βρίσκεται για πρώτη φορά στη χώρα, πόσο μάλλον στα απομονωμένα ελληνικά χωριά στο βουνό στην άκρη της Ελλάδας.

Η γραφή του λυρική, κατά τόπους εξειδικευμένη με το χιούμορ να την συνοδεύει πιστά, καθιστά το βιβλίο του ξεχ
...more
Annie
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Years ago, I read a long essay by John Jeremiah Sullivan about his discovery of the music of Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas. Finding their records after they were lost for decades sent Sullivan on a quest to find out who these women were, where they came from, and where they went. The essay sent me on my own dive into early blues and hot jazz, a dive I still haven’t really come up from yet. So reading about Christopher King’s moment in which he discovered Epirotic music, preserved on 78 records ...more
Rupert
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highest recommendation for this book. A beautiful homage & poetic examination of a music form that has gone on for centuries healing the spirits of the people living in the villages of Northwest Greece where it is played & nurtured. Also a good introduction to the Roma of the region & cultural rituals.
The author writes well & passionately on his subject & his personal travels & adventures add to the pleasure & insight of the book.
...more
Ted
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book.. I can't tell if the author is pulling a Bruce Chatwin or a Carlos Casteneda on us.. fascinating..

Epirote music (from Epirus in NW Greece) may provide some cultural cohesion for some populations in the area.. I'm not so sure about the altered state(s) it may induce..
sanguis
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
While there are aspects of professional record collectors that are kind of unsavory (see the documentary on Joe Buzzard and the reality of acquiring the old 78’s from the people who preserved them — by withholding the true value from those people who of course tend to be poor—most of the prized 78’s are folk music/music of the poor and rural), it is still an interesting subject for anyone who has fallen in love with old strange music from the past. The role of the record collector still has to b ...more
Elizabeth Disavino
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Lament from Epirus" by Christopher C. King is a mesmerizing first-hand journey into musical obsession. King, after hearing recordings of early 20th-century Greek musicians, goes on a Homeric quest to find the source of this music, and to understand the nature and purpose of music itself. Drawing unlikely connections between early blues recordings and early recordings of Greek music, particularly from the area of Epirus in northwestern Greece, King compels us to travel with him on his journey th ...more
Bobby Damore
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought it was strange that he focused so much on Epirus, as if the rest of Greek musical culture wasn't very similar to how he was describing Epirus. For example he went on and on about tsipouro, which is in fact an amazing liquor, but it can be found all over Greece - not just Epirus. Also, it exists in other countries under different names.

I also thought that comparing Epirotic music to the Delta Blues was a bit of a stretch. Rebetika has way more in common with the Blues and even then it's
...more
Michael Brown
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An eccentric odyssey of discovery into the traditional music of Epirus. The starting point for author Christopher King, best known as an obsessive 78rpm record collector, was hearing some rare discs from the 1920s, which lead him into friendships with Greek collectors, trips to villages where the music is still played, high-spirited participation in all-night dance sessions, and a spiritual revelation about the meaning of music in a close-knit social enclave.

Some of the essentialist notions here
...more
Emmanouil Angelakis
I read this book in Greek which is translation of the original.

The subject of the book is the lament music and is written by king who is a philosopher by training and collector of old 78 rpm recordings.

He is making a very serious point about the purpose of music and the history of this particular genre . Despite the trend of the times he does not back up hid thesis with exhaustive scientific evidenced. His rather using his intuition and experience. In fact the book serves to much extend as a m
...more
Christie Gilson-Graves
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author's musical analysis of the region examined in this book includes historical, sociopolitical, and ethnographic factors. I found the narrative fascinating and the musical descriptions understandable to a novice.
Olav Nilsen
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
👍🏻🎶
George Stamatis
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A poem about life,death,loss and the transcendence of music in the form of a long read.
Hotspur
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read about a subject I frankly had never heard of before this book. The author perfectly conveys the soul of a collector as well as any writer I've come across. And from having spent half a year in Greece, I enjoyed the scenes in Epirus, which seemed quite a bit different from the more urban Greece I enjoyed. My biggest quibble is I found the author to be snobbish and a bit passive aggressive. However, I also give the author credit for being true to himself in the writing of t ...more
Stuart Clemo
rated it it was ok
Sep 22, 2019
Aristotle Tziampiris
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2019
Geoff
rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2018
Irene
rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2020
Chuck
rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2019
Yannis B.
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2020
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Физика на тъгата
  • El banquero anarquista
  • Tous les hommes n'habitent pas le monde de la même façon
  • Γκιακ
  • Space Invaders
  • Εκεί που ζούμε
  • Μαύρο νερό
  • راوية الأفلام
  • Τίποτε δεν χάνεται
  • Article 353 du code pénal
  • Το παιδί
  • Με μολύβι φάμπερ νούμερο δύο
  • Woman at Point Zero
  • Early Work
  • Rosmersholm
  • The Architecture of Happiness
  • Žítkovské bohyně
  • Ο ζητιάνος
See similar books…
Christopher C. King, a Grammy-winning producer, musicologist, and prominent 78 RPM record-collector, has written for The Paris Review and the Oxford American. Profiles of him have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Washington Post. He lives in Virginia.

News & Interviews

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
98 likes · 81 comments