On listening, enjoying but not understanding (Hyperlexia or just Autism?)

I’ve just realised that as much as I enjoy listening to the songs by Giorgios Sabanis and especially his Logia pou Kaine (Words that burn) album; I haven’t the faintest idea what he is talking about upon reading the English translations – Giorgios Sabanis lyric translations.

I’ve listened to the lyrics as he has sung them with accompanying written lyrics, even reading them at the same time but there meaning seems to have slipped my mind. I’ve watched the videos to his songs and thought that I had intuited the meaning since there are generally evocative and seem to go well with the song but I haven’t grasped the finer points in the slightest.

This should make me depressed but I see it as another aspect of autism. It is after all a social communication disorder. It took until I was a teenager to start to get the finer points of socialising in English so you could look upon my progress in Greek as though I am a teenager again. If I have to do this with every language I want to learn it’s going to be one painful nightmare repeated over and over again. I really hope this isn’t necessary. The emotional growth is nice but does it have to be so painful each time?

Best wishes

Angela

Grammar is essential to interpretation in foreign languages

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/se-sena-stamatise-i-kardia-σε-σένα-σταμάτησε-η-καρδιά-heart-stopped-you.html

My heart stopped with you

This is a song that immediately struck me the first time I heard it. It’s a pop/ rock song but it’s also strangely calming as it’s streamlined. I’ve listened to it countless times and I thought I understood the lyrics as they are quite passionate and evoke your emotions. I therefore thought I knew what the song was about because his speech is relatively clear and distinct. To me it was about love but an all encompassing love that disables you from functioning. It describes the feeling when you are head over heels for someone and it’s just like a bolt from the blue as we say to explain something completely unexpected.

While this is not completely the theme of the song upon reading the actual lyrics, it never occurred to me before despite the fact I have most likely looked up this song before and I’ve certainly tried to analyse its content. I have been passively watching and listening to songs for years with an inkling of their meaning from the emotions that I perceived from the videos but they haven’t been correct. I need to translate the words to get the full picture. My arrogance at my own ability and my naïveté have probably both contributed to this. Plus being selfish and not allowing anyone to critique me as I was too emotional and sensitive myself. I didn’t have enough life experience or emotional maturity to comprehend the message of the song.

The song explains that love is blind as the guy is still stuck on his ex. He can’t get over her as much as he wants to as there are still so many reminders of their relationship. He is still wondering what he has done to lose her. He wants to get back with her as he still loves her and thinks that this will stop the pain he is feeling. He is becoming bitter towards the end and wants to cut out all trace of her from him.That’s certainly different to usual and no wonder I never picked that up.

Have you ever had that before?

Best wishes

Angela

When you try to control everything, it ends up controlling you

With one look – Μ´Ενα Σου Βλέμμα by Γιοργιος Σαμπανης Giorgios Sabanis and the lyrics https://lyricstranslate.com/en/μ’-ένα-σου-βλέμμα-your-sight.html

Pop music doesn’t usually make videos that makes you think about real world issues but this one was so evocative that I had to watch it again and again to get what it truly was about. The words went too fast for me to read initially so I paused it several times and with the help of Google to make sure I was translating correctly, I managed to get the full gist of things.

The first girl’s story,

I thought I was stronger than food. I could put it in me whenever I wanted but also take it out again. Finally I got what fed me to destroy me….

Νόμιζα ότι είμαι πιο δυνατή από φαγητό. Όποτε θέλω το βάζω μέσα μου, όποτε το βγάζω. Κι έφτασα τελικά ο, τι με τρέφει,να με καταστρέψει …

The first guy’s story

I had a passion for and was addicted to social media. This was the only way that I could cope with my life. But this was not living.

Το πάθος μου κι ο εθισμός μου για την εικονική πραγματικότητα, ήταν ο μόνος τρόπος που είχα για να αντέχω την πραγματικότητα. Αλλά η δειλία δεν είναι ζωή.

The second girl’s story

Sometimes he beats me to show me his love. Afterward he asks for my forgiveness. He tells me that he will change. Eventually I changed.

Καμία φορά με χτυπάει, για να μου δείξει την αγάπη του. Μετά μου ζητάει συγνώμη. Μου λέει θα αλλάζει. Τελικά άλλαζα εγώ.

The second guy’s story

I didn’t care how I made the money. I just did it to ensure I had a good standard of living. The resulting guilt and loneliness made all the victories pyrrhic.

Δε με ένοιαζε ο τρόπος. Μόνο να βγάζω λεφτά για να ζω καλά … Με νίκησαν στα σημεία, η ενοχή και η μοναξιά …

Its a distillation of what it is to be Greek but a modern Greek who is worldly so experiences what everyone else in the world struggles with – Food in the form of Anorexia and Bulimia, Internet addiction, Monetary Greed in the form of being a ruthless and cutthroat business man, Gluttony, Loneliness, Domestic Abuse, Depression and feeling subhuman like you have lost yourself and your humanity.

I feel this needs to be part of the Thriving Autistic Adult Series

Best wishes

Angela

My Progress in Spanish, Greek and Russian

Recently I have been watching Greek Tedx talks and pop videos on YouTube with the subtitles on but the catch here is that the subtitles are in Greek also. It’s amazing the progress I have made by being able to understand more of what they are talking about than just pure listening. Greek pop videos are usually easy to figure out but going from a gist to understanding the idea behind it purely by seeing more than a 10 second countdown clip and reading the words is pretty cool. Pop music repeats the same simple lyrics so there good for learning but the con is that they don’t use proper language so it’s more slang which still can be helpful.

The Tedx talks are for when I want to step it up although that’s several levels up and I’m not quite ready for understanding these yet. I think maybe I have a 50% comprehension level here.

I’m debating how to progress with my Spanish and Russian studies. I like Latin American Spanish far more than European Spanish which is rather problematic for me considering where I live. I’m hoping extensive use of Netflix and maybe Amazon Prime/YouTube will assist here?

I don’t know enough Spanish to be able to watch purely with native subtitles but the American accents are so off putting when they speak in English. I have very sensitive ears and hearing so the stereotypical high pitched whiny American accent really gets to me. They speak their native language so beautifully but then when it’s dubbed into American English OMG!!!!!

I’m the kind of person that gets bored quite easily if I don’t understand things so I’m basically making a rod for my own back as the saying goes. I’m complaining about something while knowing that this is actually the best way to learn a language. A first world problem as it’s now called.

As to the Russian language this can surprisingly sound beautiful if spoken by the right people. If they sound so mellifluous (honeyed from Greek ;)) then I don’t mind the English subtitles. However, I watched a dual English/Russian pop song today and it was horrific. His voice was bad and the translation showed that while the voice matched the words, the song seemed to be in 2 halves like a he said, she said argument. Why?

This was post was inspired by the fact that I watched a video (another yes I know) and this was about the tricks that polyglots used to learn languages. In it the author said the best way to learn was to talk and to make mistakes. I’m deathly afraid of this but that is the subject for another article as this is getting long as is the subject of reading which I’m again addressing.

Best wishes

Angela

Heptanese School of Music

Heptanese School of music

This is another area that is uniquely Greek along with these fields of interest,

  • but as far as I know there isn’t any real local (Lefkadian) input. There is a Philharmonic orchestra which I have written a little about and there are opera singers like Agni Baltsa and Maria Callas but music isn’t an easy thing at all to find out about here. It’s even more difficult then the saints; Saint Cyril and his brother, historians and soldiers, Apostolos (Lakis) Santas .
  • However for those that like music you might want to read this Gramophone museum Lefkás town or check out these people Vasilis Tsitsanis, Markos Vamvakaris. For more information about my work see here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Festivals held in Lefkás

    There is a long history of art festivals in Lefkás dating back to the 1st and 2nd Delphic festivals in Lefkás in the 1920’s.

    We then got the Speech and Art festival in 1955. After this the organiser Antonis Tzevelekis came up with the International Folklore Festival. This started in 1962 and is now held every August. Initially it had only 3 countries but has now blossomed to hundreds of thousands of participants each and every year.

    Cultural festival rundown
    Cultural festival rundown

    In the above picture it notes that Maria Callas turned up in 1964 to help kick the celebrations off.

    It also mentions that in 1995 the then president of the Greek parliament Apostolis Kaklamanis who was himself a Lefkádian was attending.

    The organiser Antonis Tzevelekis was himself commemorated when he died in 1989 after 30 years of dedicated to the cause. He also has a street and a square dedicated to himself in Lefkás town but I’m yet to come across a statue of his.

    In the Cultural centre in Lefkás town there is a floor that contains all sorts of information about the yearly folklore festival. It costs a € to enter but you won’t know this until you open the door and someone comes rushing forward to tell you.

    It’s worth it though as you get to see musical instruments from past participating countries as well as national costumes and dolls.

    A traditional ladies festive costume
    A traditional ladies festive costume
    A traditional ladies bridal costume
    A traditional ladies bridal costume

    You can even try them on (not the above ones but a special selection provided for you.) But I didn’t get the feeling that was a good idea despite the empty changing room and available full length mirror. You get the idea your trespassing during the whole cultural centre not just the upper floor as it’s so empty. It feels abandoned despite it being open, staffed and well maintained.

    There is also a room full of objects belonging to Antonis Tzevelekis and these phrases which are not translated but tell you about his life. An excerpt from 60 years worth of Lefkádian Art

    An excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art
    Another excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art
    Another excerpt from 60 years of Lefkádian art

    There is of course the Mardi Gras festival they have every year to celebrate the beginning of Lent. The costumes always look fantastic from the pictures friends put online and compare to festivals I have been to like Pirates Week and Batabano in the Cayman Islands as well as Notting Hill carnival in London.

    The celebrations in New Orleans, the Canary Islands and Rio de Janeiro are similar I believe as there all for the same reason.

    Since I’m never here that early in the season (February) I can’t tell you or show what it’s really like. If you like Museums though check out these articles

    If your interest lies elsewhere have a look here to see if anything grabs your attention Series links.

    Are there any specific arts festivals where you are?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Iannis Xenakis 1922-2001 musician reblog

    Iannis Xenakis is a man who invented stochastic music and many other things that I’ve never even heard of but sounded cool.

    Music

  • My work : Series links.
  • Best wishes

    Angela

    Yiannis Ritsos Greek poet 1909-1990

    Kostis Palamas was impressed by his work in 1934 and praised him publicly.

    Yiannis joined the communist party in the 1930’s and being left wing that means he’s going to clash when the right wing dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas (1936) takes hold in Greece. He responded when they started burning his famous poetry by turning to surrealism as did so many of his colleagues.

    In the 1950’s his work was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis.

    He was also imprisoned when Greece suffered a second dictatorship performed by Papadopoulos commonly known as the military junta in 1967.

    As a result of this his poetry was frequently banned.

    He was rather unlucky when it came to the Nobel prize of Literature because of this censorship. He has been nominated 9 times unsuccessfully and finally he won the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975 which I guess is some form of compensation for continually being passed over because of his beliefs.

    As I feel this post is rather lacking since I didn’t find any inspiration here is the view of a native Yiannis Ritsos.

    This is the thirteenth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.

    Aristotle Valaoritis

    C F Cavafy

    Angelos Sikelianos

    Lefkadia Hearn

    George Seferis

    C G Karyotakis

    Ioannis Valaoritis

    Odysseus Elytis

    Andreas Emberikos

    Kostis Palamas

    Ioannis Zampelios

    Spiridon Zampelios

    Other series include Greek Authors, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Mikis Theodorakis

    Since he is such an influential figure in Greek musical history I decided he needed his own post. Here is the link to the Rebetika post that I did earlier which inspired this.

    Mikis Theodorakis wrote the musical score for the most famous Greek movie Zorba the Greek and as soon as you hear it you know what it is. For those that don’t know it’s called Syrtaki and it’s based on old Cretan dances. It’s that kind of recognition that Mikros Theodorakis has that makes him such a legend.

    He has the most extraordinary collection of music, theatre productions, books, ballets, film scores and operas that he was coordinated on with such famous names as Angelos Sikelianos and Nikos Kazantzakis leading there expertise to assist him. I could go on but then this article would never end.

    His personal details are here Mikis Theodorakis.

    It seems to me that these series of posts are documenting the history of British involvement in Greece during the 1930’s and afterwards. I am featuring all the major players and since this is a critical part of Greece’s history just after the war of independence in 1922; it’s rather fitting as all of my interests are coming together. Literature, language, history, culture, the arts.

    Yes you could say I have slight bourgeois tastes in things. Except my interest in Russian things but Greece and Russia are more connected than most people realise due to shared religious history, language and culture.

    As a result of that idea I have decided to allow my hyper connected brain to link everything together to its heart’s content. Yes its a bit of a mixed metaphor but it brings colour into my writing I believe.

    Mikros Theodorakis is part of the Music and Musicians series.

    The music of Ancient Greece

    Rebetika

    Other series include Greek Poets, Authors, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Rural Villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Rebetika – Traditional Greek music from the 1920’s onwards

    1920’s Turkish style Rebetika is most famously sung and played by Mikis Theodorakis. His music is often referenced in Victoria Hislop books (my effort is here A life of Halcyon Days) as there set in either the same era or afterwards as he has had such an influence on the music of the area. It’s often comprised of guitars and bouzouki. Sometimes containing bouzoukia which are smaller versions as well. Literature from the period details very little from the musical point of view. Even in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin there isn’t much about this. The mandolin must be only in Corfu as I’ve never seen one here Lefkás before. I’ve also not come across mention of the music in the books I’ve read about the Durells family. I think Gerry was too interested in his animals and although Lawrence was interested in a great many things, it doesn’t seem that music was one of those.

    I got a bilingual book on this subject as shown above. So it was good for me to learn about this evocative style of music that has been so influential on Greek culture. Rebetika has changed so much over the years through the many musicians that have practiced it. The instruments changed into electronic versions, the venues changed drastically as did the clientele and the amount of money that could be made improved significantly. However, all things have there dips also and many rebirths mean that the style will always evolve to suit its circumstances. Sometimes simpler and covert, other times flashy and ostentatious.

    For a taste of even older Greek music see here Ancient Greek music.

    This is part of my series on Greek music and musicians.

    Mikis Theodorakis

    Other series include Greek Poets, Authors, Famous Greeks, Rural Villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.

    Do you have any similar styles of music in your country?

    Best wishes

    Angela