By Sotiris Bekas
“The present album is the result of the spontaneous musical collaboration of four individuals with very close musical experiences and aesthetics. It comes to seal the existence of the musical ensemble “Amoroza” as a group that draws inspiration and joy from studying and performing the music of the Aegean Sea and Asia Minor. The recordings were made at different times during the period 2019-2022. Each of the selected pieces characterizes the mood of “Amoroza” during that specific period, and the recording captures a snapshot of the sound of the ensemble during this time,” write the members of “Amoroza” in the introductory note of their first album.
These words briefly encapsulate what Marianthi Lioudaki (vocals), Nikos Milas (violin), Christina Kouki (santur), and Nikos Angelopoulos (lute) would like to convey, with humility, though.
Because in “Amoroza’s” debut album, one can find a carefully crafted musical work with the aim of “exploring the musical tradition of Asia Minor, the Aegean islands, and pre-war rebetiko and Smyrneika songs” (as also is mentioned), a well-integrated and polished sound with interesting arrangements, and above all, balance. The musical performances do not overdo it; instead, one can feel the sincerity of the band members expressing themselves with simplicity and a love for this repertoire.
Here, there is a brightness in the sound and the performances that justifies the choice to emphasize the term “Amoroza” as a “nautical term referring to the thin rope with which the edges of the sails are fastened to the yardarm, something that, in a loose translation, expresses the merging of people.”
All the musicians have very nice moments, and their communication with each other (and therefore their common expression) seems to have been worked on quite a bit and has reached a very good level. So much so that it sparks interest in the musical future of the ensemble, both in their live performances and in their discography. “Amoroza” is a very good start, and it would be a wish come true if it continues.
We particularly enjoyed “Kanaria“, “Sylivriano“, “Tis Avgis“, “Ah, Xenitia“, and “Ballos Androu“.