"MODES AND ROADS, TAXIMIA AND MAQAMS" - October 2004 Hydra Rebetiko Gathering

1 November 2003

Dear Colleagues,

I have spent the past hour reading the latest contributions to the “Hydra

I shall not reply to all the points raised, at least not at this moment.

First, the most important thing. The next Hydra Gathering will be on the
topic of “MODES AND ROADS, TAXIMIA AND MAQAMS”. It is of course open to all
members of the Rebetiko Forum.

The conference will take place over 4 days, on 13-17 October 2004, on the
island of Hydra.

Other than that, allow me to say one or two things:

  1. One person accuses me of being a new General Scobey come to colonise the
    Greeks. Others speak of me as the “Anglo” who has come to lay imperialist
    hands on rebetiko. If I speak of racism and nationalism exemplified in the
    rhetoric of this debate, it is partly for this facile assumption of my
    “Englishness”. For the record, and for what it is worth, I am Greek on my
    mother’s side.

  2. I am accused of showing no interest in the jam session on the stairs on
    Saturday night. Allow me to tell you that once I had finished helping Nikos
    Dionysopoulos take down the wires, cables and loudspeakers for his sound
    system at five o’clock in the morning, I made my way to the steps, and was
    there to the end. Unlike other people, I was there to watch the dawn come

  3. We do not have simultaneous translation at the conference, and probably
    never will have. If people speak in Greek, they speak in Greek; if they
    speak in English they speak in English. In either event it is the
    responsibility of the speakers to provide the text of their speech
    beforehand, so that it is available to all participants. Where possible I
    work on translating the speeches (as I did with Zaimakis’s excellent speech
    this year). Most speakers, however, do NOT provide pre-conference versions
    of their speeches.

  4. As regards the “assumption” that Rebetiko Forum would be at the jam
    session, the programme stated that “we are hoping that…”, and that hope
    was based on the fact that George P. assured me that he personally would be
    there this year.

  5. Costs of the conference. Tell me where, in the area of academic
    conferences and other such events, you can find anything like a 3-day
    conference with speakers, and workshops, and films, and the best musicians,
    and theatre performances, etc etc (not to mention the best party in the
    Mediterranean) for a mere 40 euros. We keep the price low in order that it
    is open to everybody to attend. If people cannot afford that money, then
    they pay what they can afford. And for the islanders of Hydra both the
    Conference and the Concert are entirely free. All of which, in my opinion,
    is pretty damn good.

  6. War and peace: I have absolutely no interest in promoting a state of war
    here. The Hydra Rebetiko Gathering is solidly established. We do good work,
    and we will continue to do good work. We (and here I speak for the
    collectivity of people who attend it - whose opinions have not yet been
    expressed in the pages of the Rebetiko Forum) are very proud of what we have

It is clear that if the “Hydra Rebetiko Gathering” joins forces with the
“Rebetiko Forum”, then remarkable things might happen, and that would be
good. This is probably worth pursuing.

Therefore I suggest that we use the coming 12 months to develop a creative
dialogue about how we work can together. My impulse is towards building
bridges and not to creating divisions. (As we all know, division is what has
always characterised the field of “rebetology” in Greece.)

I propose a meeting of all interested parties, in Athens, in the early
months of 2004, in order to discuss such a possibility.

  1. As above, the next Hydra Gathering will be on the topic of “MODES AND
    ROADS, TAXIMIA AND MAQAMS”. This is a very challenging and difficult
    undertaking. In which we shall all have something to learn, and all have
    something to contribute.

As every year, it will continue to have something of a handmade character.
But I imagine that those who attend will find the conference interesting,
stimulating, even exciting.

With rebetological greetings,

Ed Emery

It sure is sad to see that Ed Emery is being criticised when he has done so much, for so many, for so little. As for Hydra, I’ll be there…

It sure is sad to read such messages in a forum, where so many important researchers of rembetika, have written so many extremely serious papers on the subject. Mr Blackmore, in this forum, all of us have been periodically criticised, sometimes unjustly. This is democracy, if you ever heared the term. I consider myself a good friend of Ed, and this is why I’ll go on criticising him, even in Hydra, if I have the time to be there this year.

Chris, its self-evident that you never bothered to scan the criticism you’re referring to.
Your information on the subject is totally depended on Mr. Emery’s posting and e-mails. This could be very much OK if Emery didn’t filter and refine the arguments and the criticism. But that is exactly what he did! He stood only where he felt capable to whiten his .

This doesn’t bother us at all. But then again, here you come dashing to stand by Emery having only a small filtered portion of the picture in front of you.
Childish, isn’t it?

Ας με πάρει κάποιος (απ’ τους δικούς μου) τηλέφωνο να μου εξηγήσει τι λένε τα παραπάνω κείμενα γιατί από ισπανικά δεν καταλαβαίνω ντιπ για ντιπ (που έλεγε η μανιάτισσα γιαγιά που ήξερε άπταιστα γαλλικά).