Eleni & Souzana Vougioukli

World music performers with authentic,intense,moving interpretation& adaptations based on possibilities of human voice as an innate musical instrument

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Eleni and Souzana Vougioukli began to explore world music very early and went on to experiment with the qualities/possibilities of the human voice as an innate musical instrument. With specific emphasis on the original language and with appropriate respect for pronunciation and articulation of each individual form, they sing in more than twenty languages and dialects, both a capella and/or accompanied by piano, guitar and percussion instruments which they play themselves.

Their repertoire consists of traditional songs of various ethnic groups: rebetika and traditional Greek songs in all dialects including that of the Greek speaking community of Southern Italy, Portuguese fado, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Turkish, Arabic, Gypsy, Serb, American blues and jazz, Armenian, Sephardic, Pomak (a Slavic dialect of the Rhodopi mountain in N. Greece) and Bulgarian, as well as their own compositions. All their songs stand out for their power of expression and their diachronic qualities both in terms of history and geography, whilst the basic focus of their research is the deeper roots of each song, which is the reason why they spend a long time working on the songs before presenting them, so that they are able to discover aspects which are not immediately apparent on the first hearing. The long lasting quality of each song, that is, Tradition, the language and the music it carries with it on its journey through space and time, meets up with its modern exposition, its living present, as understood by the artists who make their own transformations and adaptations to the sounds of the times, in their own particular interpretation.

They have worked with many well known artists including Maria Farantouri and AVATON at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Goran Bregovic, Psarantoni, Thanassis Gaifyllia, Loudovikos Ton Anoyion and Vasilis Lekka. They have also performed for two years in Tatiana Lygari’s music stage Treno sto Rouf, with great success.

Eleni was born in Thessaloniki and grew up in Xanthi. She holds a BA in Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies of the University of Macedonia. She has also studied piano, music theory and solo including all classical, Byzantine and jazz. Similarly, she studied Byzantine and jazz theory and music. She began performing traditional Greek songs from the age of eight and she gave a lot of performances in official; festivals such as that of Old Town Festival in Xanthi. She was awarded a lot of distinctions and first prizes in various competitions such as First Prize in a capella category, in the National Competition organized by the Ministry of Education in 1997. She has given concerts – ethnic, classical and traditional - in Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the USA, Italy, Ukraine Turkey, Belgium,Luxembourg, Romania, Nepal and elsewhere. As a member of traditional music groups she has made many appearances and CD recordings with songs from Asia Minor, Thrace and other areas of Greece. She has studied classical and traditional dancing and she is involved in research in theatrical performance. She speaks English, French, Turkish, and Arabic as well as a little Russian and Italian.

Souzana was born and raised in Xanthi, where her parents are professors at the Democritus University of Thrace. She is a graduate of the Mathematics Department of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, majoring in Pure Mathematics. She has studied piano, guitar, advanced theory and solo, as well as jazz - song and theory. She is also involved in composing. She has given many concerts – of ethnic, classical and traditional music in Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Turkey,Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, USA, Nepal and elsewhere. Among her interests, dance makes up an important part – classical, traditional and afro-jazz, as well as theatrical performing. She speaks English, French and a little Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. The study of the relationship between music and mathematics is one of the things which especially interests her, and her future ambition is to conduct further research in this area.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2012


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