From the mountains and the sea

by Bonnendis

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    From the Mountains and the Sea is Bonnendis' debut album, featuring the iconic instruments of the Aegean islands: the traditional ziya (duo formation) of the tsambouna and lyra (bagpipe and fiddle), the Cretan laouto (lute) in its virtuosic solo and accompanist roles, the large and festive davoul (drum) and a range of female and male voices, singing words of love and longing.

    The album brings together the stories and themes common to the islands, painting a musical portrait of tragic love, migration, sea raids and ritual celebrations. The music navigates through everyday lives with ritual dances from Karpathos, virtuosic Cretan kondylies played on the baroque recorder, reminiscent of the local floyera, the epic medieval tragedy of Erotokritos, corsaire dance tunes from Ikaria, wedding songs of Nisyros, and heartfelt words of longing for far away loved ones.

    Bonnendis founding members, Thodoris Ziarkas (lyra), Nikos Ziarkas (laouto) and Cassandre Balosso-Bardin (recorders and tsambouna) invited three friends close to these traditions to lend their voices to the music: Dunja Botic (Don Kipper), Vasiliki Anastasiou (the Amalgamation Project) and Pavlos Mavromatakis (the Turbans, Balothizer). The result is a collection of traditional melodies and songs presented in their simplest forms, allowing the musicians to enhance the raw beauty of the music through their individualities.

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Aretousa 04:25
Ήντα 'χεις γιασεμάκι μου και μαδησ' ο ανθός σου η γλάστρα σ' έπεσε μικρή ή λίγο το νερό σου Θε να σε κάμω μενεξέ να σε φυτέψω στον μπαξέ Δεν είν' η γλάστρα μου μικρή και το νερό πολύ μου μόν' άργες να 'ρθεις να με δεις κι αρρώστησα πουλί μου... Παράτα μπλιό την ξενιτιά κι έλα για δεν αντέχω πιά. What is the matter my little jasmine and have you faded? Your pot has fallen and so has its water Oh, let me to plant you in the garden. It is not my pot that is small nor do I have too much water You just came to see me late, my little bird... Turn your back on those foreign lands and come back, as I cannot stand it anymore.
Δέματα στέλνου και λεφτά κι εγέμισε το σπίτι, Εις τους αγίους τάζω, σχόλη καθημερ(ι)νή, να φέρου τα παιδιά μας απάνω στο νησί. αμμέ το γέλιο κι η χαρά, παντοτινά μας λείπει. Στον Άη Νικόλα πάω την κάθε Κυριακή, ανάβω τα καντήλια του κι ένα μικρό κερί. Their charity and subsidy in abundance they bestow, I vow to the Saints, on days divine and commonplace, To guide our children back, to their Island birthplace. But not the bliss and laughter, our home desires to know. I beseech Saint Nicholas each Sunday that I go, I light the holy lamps and one small candle’s glow.
Kondylies 06:21
Τίνος είν’ το περιόλι τούτο πού κρατούμεν όλοι που `χει το φραμολοάρι και τη γη(ς) μαργαριτάρι. Βρε γεια σου, γεια σου, νιόγαμπρε, όπου την εκυνήγησες αυτή τη ρούσα πέρδικα την όμορφη τριανταφυλλιά Από ταξιδιού μου εκατέβαινα και στο περιόλι της την εύρηκα τα βασιλικά της επότιζε και τους δυόσμους της εκορφολόιζε. Σ’ όσους γάμους κι αν επήγα, τέτοια νύφη δεν την είδα να `χει κούτελο φεγγάρι μια χαρά κι ένα καμάρι. Απάνω στην τριανταφυλλιά έκαμε η πέρδικα φωλιά και συλλογιέται η πέρδικα και σιέται η τριανταφυλλιά. Από ταξιδιού μου εκατέβαινα και στο περιόλι της την εύρηκα τα βασιλικά της επότιζε και τους δυόσμους της εκορφολόιζε. Who does this garden belong to? We all insist: behind the golden fence lies a pearl in the earth. - I greet you young groom, you followed her there, that rosy partridge, that beautiful rose! - I returned from my journey and found her in the garden; she watered her basil and she pruned her mint. Whichever wedding I went to, I never saw such a bride, with a forehead as white as the moon, lovely and proud. The partridge has made a nest at the top of the rose; the partridge is pondering and the leaves of the rose are rustling. The mother says "all the best with your marriage, my daughter"; the priests come to the event, the invitees are decided
Sousta 05:56
Koursarikos 03:08


released April 17, 2019

Cassandre Balosso-Bardin : recorders & askomandoura
Thodoris Ziarkas : Karpathian & Cretan lyra, double bass (5), percussion (6) Nikos Ziarkas : Cretan laouto & mandolin (5)
Pavlos Mavromatakis: vocals (3) & davoul
Vasiliki Anastasiou : vocals (6) Dunja Botic: vocals (4)

Recorded by George Botis at Dada Studios and Okinawa Studios, London. Mixed and mastered by George Botis at Okinawa Studios, London
Produced by Bonnendis

Cover photo by Pavlos Mastiki, taken in Olympos, Karpathos 1992
Layout by Thodoris Ziarkas

Krumelur Records, 2019 ©


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Bonnendis London, UK

Bonnendis is a London-based trio featuring the raw sounds of the Greek islands with the iconic tsambouna (bagpipes), lyra and laouto. Bonnendis – the mist hovering over the mountain villages on the island of Karpathos – navigates from island to island, performing traditional melodies as you would hear them back home: genuine, powerful and uplifting. ... more

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