Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sigma Variations

Last time we met we were having a frantic time up in Thessaloniki. Now we're packing our bags and heading down to Athens, where things are a little more mellow.

Sigmatropic are an Athenian outfit who have been going for about twenty years now. Their initial breakthrough came in 2002 when they released a Greek language album on which all the songs were based on poems by Nobel Laureate, Giorgis Seferis. This proved so successful that the following year they remade it all in English with a selection of guest singers.

The album is called "Sixteen Haiku & Other Stories" and the guests are an impressive bunch. They include Robert Wyatt, Alejandro Escovedo, Cat Power, John Grant, Laetitia Sadler, Howe Gelb, Mark Eitzel and the two we are featuring today - Steve Wynn and Lee Ranaldo. Steve's track in particular is rather excellent, and the whole album is worth tracking down if you can.

"The Jasmine" - Sigmatropic (featuring Steve Wynn)

"Haiku Twelve" - Sigmatropic (featuring Lee Ranaldo)

Mr Seferis was quite a man. As well as being one of the leading Greek poets of modern times he was a career diplomat - including a stint as Ambassador to the UK in the late 1950s - who then became one of the heroes of the resistance against the military junta that ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974. He died in September 1971, around about the time this was riding high in the local charts.

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