The “Rembetiki Company Barcelona” is a project of Yannis Papaioannou that began in 2015 with the aim of promoting the Rembetiko music.
The Rembetiko genre is perhaps one of the most unique musical styles of Greece. It was born in the 20s in the ports of Piraeus, Siros and Thessaloniki among Greek refugees from Turkey.
Although since its beginning it was considered a marginal music because the songs talked about aspects that were taboo in the Greek society (drugs, free-love, poverty) and even it became censored by the authorities, the “Rembetiko” continues 100 years later touching people, since both music and language breathe a freshness and a strength that few musical styles are able to get.
“Songs of exile”
Given the current events affecting the Mediterranean Sea, and with the musical heritage that has left the exile in Greece, the “Rembetiki Compañía de Barcelona” proposes a review of “Songs of Exile” through songs of the popular culture of the early twentieth century in Greece, songs that talk about the missed land and the integration into a new country.
The Exile goes beyond the collective imagination to become again a topical issue. Nearly million people have already crossed the Mediterranean see and have been forced to leave their homeland to seek refuge in other lands. The drama is far from stopping.
The twenty-first century is giving us again images that we thought to be forgotten and that populated the reality of the last century due to various global and regional conflicts.
Greece has now become gateway and refuge of these thousands of people, Turkey an exit door and place of waiting and despair. These two countries, now transit and welcoming lands, know well the reality of exile and the drama of the refugees…
The Greco-Turkish war (1919-1922) caused the massive exodus of Greek population in Turkey and more than million and a half refugees were arriving to the Hellenic country. Greece received in a short space of time what represented the 25% of its population. This fact was reflected in all spheres of society and specially in the musical culture through the Rebetiko music.