Dimitra Sings Dimitra

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Dimitra Galani is one of my most favorite singers.

“Expression, passion, lyricism, emotion, sensibility and a unique technical delivery are among D. Galani’s strong points. With her peculiar and inimitable voice and her great interpretation of more than a thousand songs radiates in the field of Greek music for 45 years”

These words were taken from Dimitra Galani’s biography in her official site. From 1987  she appears as a composer too. Our post today presents five songs that she had composed.

Dimitra Galani’s way to composing had passed through all the great composers, the greatest teachers of a great school, as she says.

She was born in 1952 in Athens. Her father, a civil servant, had an excellent tenor voice and much knowledge in music, “but he didn’t have the guts to be involved in this so he invested everything in my success”. She had, as she says, too much pressure from him and this made her not to discipline in her musical studies.

She became a professional singer very early at the age of 16: “Professionalism at the tender age of puberty tormented me although I had the attributes to stand”

From the outset her voice had found its way to the hearts of gifted musicians that wanted, one after the other, to compose for her.

First was Dimos Moutsis. She had sung for him in friend’s house. “I want you to sing louder” he said and immediately invited her to participate in two songs of his album “a smile”(Ένα χαμόγελο- 1969)

Just short time passed and she got a letter from London, “The letter of my life”. Manos Hatzidakis wrote that he heard her voice in that first recording, and the recording company insists that she should take part in his next album “Return” (Επιστροφή-1970).Later, in 1976, she took part in the composer’s album “Athanasia” (Αθανασία) including the famous beautiful title song. The lyrics for all these three album were written by Nikos Gatsos . “A great poet, a great personality. He stepped on the earth and at the same time was connected with the universe”.

Just before 1973 Dimitra gets a sudden phone call. On the line was Vasilis Tsitsanis. He asked her to sing his songs. “‘Great honor ‘ I said, ‘ I can make it? ‘  ‘You’re a laika (popular) singer and you haven’t understood it!’  he replied”. “Seashores, sunsets” (Ακρογιαλιές δειλινά-1973) was one of  a relatively forgotten old songs of him that he then renewed for her voice. “You will consider that these songs were made for you and now they find their voice” He said . Later in 1975 he composed especially for her two more songs, the only singer of her generation for whom he had done it.

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In 1980 Dimitra Galani took part in Manos Loizos last album “For a day’s life” (Για μια μέρα ζωής) and in the beginning of the 1980s she was leaving for Paris were she stayed two years. There she met Mikis Theodorakis. “He calls me to his home and plays for me a series of wonderful songs. Once he finishes he is telling me that it is for me. These are “Greetings.” (Χαιρετισμοί-1982)

“I don’t believe in luck but mostly in a fated course or in a blissful conjuncture. I appeared in the field of music at a time the song was surrounding by great creators.”…and all of them had written for her…just name them… All the time she wrote music for the drawer. She was not sure if she had to deal with composing mostly because of her partial formal knowledge but “I was convinced to publish songs because people who have helped me to deal with the song and music gave me their approval”

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The year was 1987 as her first two songs met the world. Lina Nikolakopoulou had written the first lyrics to two pieces of her music. These were the “Applause(Το χειροκρότημα ) and “The right” (Δικαίωμα).  Hesitating to sing by herself  she gave them to Alkistis  Protopsalti. It was a great success.

In this version Dimitra Galani sings with Tania Tsanaklidou. Press on YouTube cc sign for English subtitles.

 

 

From a TV interview:

– What was the role of love in your life?

Galani: – I tasted it two times. You see how lucky I was? Now I am calm with this. I will go into it again if something bigger happens, when I feel that the other person speaks the same language as I do. I don’t provoke things, the truth, life itself. Anyhow a bit of what we call truth is not but a beautiful illusion. The most important thing is to be able to realize that it comes and it is here and to let yourself go with it.

– And what about separation?

Galani:- Separation is like death …at the beginning there is pain and anguish …but later it turns into knowledge and the next time you will have to look for something better . We usually make the same mistake because most of us didn’t understand something or we make a new mistake… Some people don’t understand why they broke up or why they were together. The attraction is very strong and people don’t see through this …they live with illusions.  You may meet a person and feel an attraction for him just to know that he isn’t the right one and that you had been seeing only what you had wanted to see.

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The lyrics for the song “Two days only” (Δυο μέρες μόνο-1991) were written by Paraskevas Karasoulos (Παρασκευάς Καρασούλος) who has been writing with Dimitra Galani many beautiful songs for more than 20 years.  Their work is a product of a deep love and friendship “we are always there one for another…I have the sense that if I had the gifts to write lyrics, I would write like him” says Dimitra. Many of Parakevas’ songs record real events, people and feelings.”Songs like “Two Days Only” are calendar moments in our common life with Dimitra or moments of her own life” He says*

(English caps)

 

 

“Every artist is a part of the society he lives and he breathes with it. He can not remain unaffected by what is happening. Willingly or not all what we live, is recorded in his work and influence accordingly.”  Therefore “art in itself is a political act. Do not confuse politics with politicians and professional politics. No relationship” The artist is not only an entertainer although giving joy/pleasure to people is a great honor. We must not underestimate it. Entertaining is not the only role for the artist; he or she has the obligation to influence the public opinion up to a point as a known person.

“What we live in is a deep existential crisis. It must be a restart within us. We are the country. All those that rule the world have this power because of us. The problem that torments us and occurs worldwide is the need of mankind to make a step to be more mature. If this doesn’t happen and the man will continue to play happily in the yard of history, the change of values that is going to be within us will not be far from being an unpleasant mutation.”(Words from recent interviews).

She takes an active participation in major humanitarian movements and deals with issues as intellectual property rights.

“I am speaking about power” (Εγώ μιλάω για δύναμη -1995), lyrics by Lina Nikolakopoulou (caps)

 

 

 

“I love you” can

2004 was a time of meeting between another gifted lyricist and Dimitra’s voice and melodies. The album is  “I love you” can” (Το σ΄ αγαπώ μπορεί), with a rocky style title song.  The lyricist Marianna Kriezi wrote seven of the songs, and the other four also by women-lyricists (Kondova and Harsoula). “Through a group of four women were born lyrics and melodies that created eleven new songs. The laughter, the emotion, the whispered confessions and love they shared throughout this period are small, obvious or hidden stories, which most of us have lived”

We have here two songs of Kriezi-Galani. The first is “One night only” (Μια νύχτα μόνο). English caps:

(if the video doesn’t work see below**)

The second is ” World’s glass” (Γυαλί-Ντουνιάς). Kriezi was inspired here by the girlish game in which the whole world was displayed behind a broken glass. The speaker in the song, having hidden her precious feelings into a pothole and covered it with glass, says her grievance to her beloved and invites him

This song is a special request of Anastasia Thanela, who has been helping us for more than two and a half years. We dedicate this song and all this post for her,especialy as she feels that the songs here are telling her story too!

 

 

***

“Sometimes you must let the things lead you, without provoke them, only watch them. Every time I was singing a song I could express different emotions through it according to what I was feeling at that moment”

“… What I want when I sing, finish the program and you leave, is to feel that you climb a small step above. And holding it! Even for a day, a week. If we can manage that, then we can say that we have done something in life and in our art…”

 

Songs that were mentioned:

(1) A song from “a smile: “Some train” (Κάποιο τρένο)  http://youtu.be/HktjdJ16PjA

(2) Athanasia: http://youtu.be/CSFYHY1kgtM

(3) Tsitsanis: Seashores, sunsets”  http://youtu.be/8d_2fQGGKj8 “Nostalgia” http://youtu.be/F13oyNtdgUQ

(4)Theodorakis “Surrender” (Παραδώσου) http://youtu.be/FKTnF5Efxbw

(5) Applause- http://youtu.be/00vV7GdgUJo

(6)  “I love you” can”  http://youtu.be/smT-2_wBNC8

* The cooperation between them created recently (February 2014) the album “Otherwise”(Αλλιώς) ” The songs of the new album of D. Galani,  “Otherwise” , have a different, a unique concept. They are related to a person, a woman (or a man) who suddenly wakes up from a deep sleep and realizes that things have reached their limits and she must see them from now on from a different point of view. She should be “reborn”, see and feel in a different way and flood her life with light again. She must understand and demand what rightfully belongs to her. She must recall the values of life, get strength from it and go on with her life. She must escape from her illusions, to love all over again herself and her surroundings, but also her loneliness.”

The title song from the album http://youtu.be/o4XebU_Nqik

 

Links:

Official site: http://www.galani.gr/site/defaulten.htm

Tv interview:  http://youtu.be/1yA-xi9tRi0

http://www.boro.gr/12171/dimitra-galani-12-stigmes-pou-simadan-tin-poreia-mou

http://www.musicpaper.gr/editorial/item/4335-i-dimitra-galani-allios-synentefksi

http://www.mag24.gr/interview/dimitragalani-ypoklinomai-neo-ekpliksi

http://3feeet.blogspot.co.il/2012/05/blog-post_2917.html

http://www.topontiki.gr/article/19426/

http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%94%CE%AE%CE%BC%CE%B7%CF%84%CF%81%CE%B1_%CE%93%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%AC%CE%BD%CE%B7

http://www.mousikorama.gr/site/concerts/56-galani-synenteuksi

http://www.musiccorner.gr/?p=92198

http://www.musiccorner.gr/?p=92830

http://www.avopolis.gr/greek-interviews/47846-2014-01-21-15-15-05

 Thanks to Anastasia Thanela and Katerina Siapanda!!!

 

 

**For those who can’t watch here are the songs and lyrics:

 

 

One night only

 

 

The fate that brought us together was poor

It had only one night, it was flat broke

I am asking you only for a night, only one

When it will dawn I will be vanished and I will lose you

As the desert loses the night’s dew

 

 

And if you see me on the street pass me by

Don’t bring me back into your mind me ever again

And if someone will mention my name, don’t hesitate

to say that you don’t know me, my love, say that you don’t know me

 

 

The rust won’t touch this passion

It will always be burning somewhere, unchanged by time

Only one night hold me and then

Like a caress that relieved your pain

let your body remember me from now on

 

 

And if you see me on the street pass me by

don’t bring me back into your mind me ever again

and if someone will mention my name, don’t hesitate

to say that you don’t know me, my love, say that you don’t know me

 

 

World’s  glass

 

 

We were digging each one of us apart

a pothole as a hidden nest

And we all decorated it with seeds

with feathers, pansies and buttons

 

 

Then I had to break pane

to cover it with glass

And I was saying as a capable child

to whoever I loved most

 

 

Come to see the glass, you, my world

come to see my glass world

Come to see the glass, you, my world

that no one has ever seen it before

I love you with all my heart

 

 

I melted down iron shoes

To find love in life

When you remember me I am significant to you

And when you forget me you go outing

 

 

Come to me my lost love

now that I weep for you like a child

Come to me and sit beside me

now that all have been betrayed

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