The project

XENITIA follows the footsteps of the latest wave of Greek migrants throughout Europe. Right now, Greece is experiencing the third exodus in a hundred years’ time, caused by a financial crisis which has had worse effects on the country than the Great Depression on the United States in the ’30. Every day, 400 Greeks are leaving the country.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented flux of migration since World War II, making the old notion of xenitia more actual than ever. It is a cocktail of homesickness, nostalgia and frustration: feelings that have been expressed in countless melodies. In the traditional, often melancholic songs of xenitia, the listener finds an outlet for these emotions.

Eighteen Greek migrants, who had to leave because of the crisis, were interviewed about their views on belonging, the sense of home and their personal path. Their voices, arranged by filmmaker Fabio Dondero and journalist Chiara Somajni, are carried out in this documentary-concert, together with a contemporary interpretation of the traditional songs of xenitia. The music is shaped by the poetic mastery of singer-composer Katerina Fotinaki, the rhythmical intensity of percussionist Evi Filippou and the contemplative coloring by harpist Andrea Voets. An innovative approach, in which music and interviews merge into a compelling unity, that honours the challenges every migrant faces.

After a strict selection process, Xenitia got financed by the Dutch Ministry of Culture, as part of the Europe by People festival on the occasion of the Dutch presidency of the EU in 2016. After the premiere at the Compagnietheater in Amsterdam (April 2016), the show went on an ongoing European tour.

The Music of Xenitia

Xenitemenomou pouli – traditional (arrangement Katerina Fotinaki)

Soleil de la justice – music: Mikis Theodorakis, poetry: Odysseus Elytis (arrangement Katerina Fotinaki)

Dance from Volos – traditional melody (arrangement Evi Filippou) Zorbas – Mikis Théodorakis ( lm music from Zorba the greek)

Never on Sunday – Manos Hadjidakis ( lm music from Never on Sunday) Amanes – traditional (arrangement Katerina Fotinaki)

Hammers – Nils Frahm (arrangement Andrea Voets)

Europe – music: Katerina Fotinaki, Poetry of Kostis Palamas Rebonds – Iannis Xenakis

Yanni mou to mantili sou – traditional (vocal arrangement Katerina Fotinaki) Mia thalassa mikri – Dionyssis Savopoulos

Labyrinth dance (Theseus and Ariadne) – from The Crown of Ariadne

by R. Murray-Schafer

Ta Tzitzikia – music: Katerina Fotinaki, poetry: Odysseus Elytis

Duration: 90 minutes 

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