“Bazaar” by Gerasimos Papadopulos and his band “Ferah” is a beautifully composed and evocative piece of music from the score of the fairy tale “Zahrenia” by Fotini Kaimaki. It’s an instrumental music tribute to the Oriental market with its riot of color, trade, feelings, and culture.
The members of Gerasimos Papadopoulos’ band, “Ferah,” which means “Joy,” are Gerasimos Papadopoulos on the oud, Achilleas Tigas on the ney, Stefanos Agiopoulos on the percussion, and Thomas Meleteas on the contrabass. The group, which has its base in Athens, performs both original music and oriental music from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and Arabia. The band Ferah has performed at a few Greek festivals as well as on “The Salt of the Earth,” one of the most significant programs on ERT and hosted by musicologist Lambros Liavas. Ottoman, Byzantine, and Greek traditional music are the band’s main musical influences.
Gerasimos Papadopoulos was raised in Cyprus but was born in Athens in 1988. He moved to Athens in 2008, attended the University of Athens, and completed his Greek philology degree there. He received his diploma in Byzantine music. With Greek and Turkish teachers, Gerasimos Papadopoulos studied the oud and Ottoman singing. After receiving his Master’s in linguistics in 2016, he started working on his Ph.D. studies in Byzantine musicology in 2017. He is currently imparting English-language Byzantine musicology terminology at the European University of Cyprus.
The newest Greek and an Anatolian folk instrumental single by Gerasimos Papadopoulos and his band Ferah is titled “Bazaar”, which was released on January 4th, 2023. The word “bazaar” conjures up images of gaudy glamour, vibrant explosions of color, loud magic, outdoor diffusion, and a jumble of things—old, new, filthy, shining, kitschy—all thrown together on the altar of constant haggling. In the incredibly messy East, the word “bazaar” means immersion.
The main melodic instruments in “Bazaar” are the wind instrument Ney and the string instrument Oud. The phrase construction in the song creates a lot of drama. The fundamental motif is formed, and the subsequent phrase develops it with grace, style, astounding musical dynamics, and storytelling. The composition is heavily influenced by cultural traditions from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern music regions. The inclusion of percussion and strings gives the song energy and movement, and the use of the instruments lends a sense of authenticity and exoticism. Athens’ DNA Lab studio, where sound engineer Yannis Skandamis worked, was where the single was recorded. The artist’s utilization of many instruments and sounds in this song, “Bazzar,” produces an immersive experience for the listener, giving them a sense of connection to his music.
Compared to many longer songs with fancier orchestration but less melodic depth, this two-minute tune says more. “Bazaar” is a portion of Gerasimos Papadopoulos‘ score for the philologist Fotini Kaimaki’s fairy tale “Zahrenia.” The title refers to the music’s incorporation of the fairy tale protagonist’s wanderings through an oriental market, which draws inspiration from the vibrant, boisterous world of the market. Therefore, the song is a tribute to the bazaar, or market, with its riot of color, trade, feelings, and culture. Gerasimos Papadopoulos deserves praise for reviving traditional music and for continuing to create such beautiful music using regional idioms.
For more information about Gerasimos Papadopoulos and his new single, “Bazzar,” click on the links below.