Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Misery Loves Company - Magia ke Miseria

Magic and Misery – Magic and Mystery; the enchanting transmutation of human pain and suffering into joyous celebration through the cabala of sound. And Misery Loves Company.
Misery's style is eclectic; the band is comprised of musicians from the USA, Greece, India, and Germany. The music is rooted in Greece, Asia and the Americas. Loosely termed ethno, or world music, such a commingling of cultures and styles often results in a musical hodgepodge that ends in a diluted formula, a conglomeration of parts that are only pale imitations of the originals. But Misery's music has a cross-cultural depth of authenticity and conviction which stems from a core of players who have known and worked with each other over a period of years...
The seed of the idea of forming Misery Loves Company was planted in Munich at the Greek night club, the Lyra. Sakis was playing in the club when Geoff first walked in some ten years ago. Sakis remembers the moment of their meeting. "We had just finished playing a particularly difficult piece, and this guy came up after the set and asked me what the rhythm was. I was surprised that someone was interested. It was a really complex piece, something in 5/8, 6/8, 7/8, 9/8, and 11/8 time, and it took me some time to explain it." says Sakis with a chuckle. Over the proceeding months and years Geoff and Sakis became friends and musical compatriots. Sakis began teaching Geoff Greek compositions, and Goodman in turn taught Sakis some of his music. They played together in various musical combinations. The relationship between Western and Mid-Eastern music traditions in conjunction with Greek musical forms is too complex to delve into in this short space. Suffice it to say that Western music tradition is grounded in the Greek modes, and that the some 3000 years of Greek culture has straddled the European and Asian continents. The influence of the East on Greek culture has been significant. Many of the great Greek city states were in Asia Minor and on the shores of what is now Turkey. Ancient battles with the Persian empire, and Alexander the Great's military expeditions through Persia, Afghanistan, and into India made Greece the centrum where East and West truly met. That Misery's cross-breeding of Western, Greek, and Eastern music is planted in Greek soil makes eminent good sense. They say that misery loves company. Whether you're down or up, melancholy or joyful, the music of this Misery is company well worth keeping. - from the CD cover

Artist: Misery Loves Company
Album:  Magia ke Miseria (Athens Meets New York)
Year: 1997
Label: Enja (1998)
Runtime: 55:41

1.  Road Movie (Geoff Goodman) 7:07
2.  Kamamotou (Draqatis) 4:22
3.  About a Boat (Geoff Goodman) 3:40
4.  Magiadi (Traditional) 6:14
5.  Dry George (Traditional) 4:52
6.  Barbagianakakis (Traditional) 6:08
7.  Cleo's Companion (Geoff Goodman) 5:49
8.  Misirlou (Nikos Roumbanis) 7:01
9.  Tsifiteteli (Sakis Stratopoulos) 4:46
10.  Prosefhi (Haris Alexion) 5:24

Geoff Goodman (Mandocello, Guitar)
Chris Hirson (Saxophone)
Sylvia Kapernaros (Vocals)
Sakis Stratopoulos (Bouzuki)
Alex Haas (Bass)
Shankar Lal (Tablas)
Tobias Ott (Tablas, Ghatam)


  1. Thanks. Interesting concept.

  2. "magia" does not mean "magic".
    "mageia" is the greek word for "magic".
    "magia" means "cunning"



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