The actual idea for the album compilation of lullabies was begotten along with my daughter in the early 1985. Some reservations I had in the beginning concerning the recurrent, somewhat monotonous pattern of their music and lyrics, were dispelled as soon as I brought together the first songs. I also came to realize that lullabies -almost totally consigned to oblivion today- can actually touch and appeal to grown-ups just as much as children. Most of these traditional songs I compiled have been preserved on score: I did not have any recorded material at my disposal and this actually provided an alibi to treat the songs more freely. I traced some very important material at the Archives of the Bourgault -Ducoudray Academy, the compilations of Baud-Bovy and Pernot as well as at Merlier’s archives thanks to the kind assistance of musicologist Marcos Dragoumis. As far as the rest of the songs are concerned, Petros Perrakis did a bit of a research and sent me over the lullaby from Crete, whereas the one originating from the Peloponnese was sung to me by Yannis Tsiamoulis. The lullabies from Southern Italy I took from an LP entitled “ The Greek Music Tradition of Southern Italy”, whilst the one originating from the isle of Thassos, “Slumber that puttest the little ones to sleep”, was traced in an album of Rosa Escenazi. I also thought it would be a good idea to incorporate to the present release all four lullabies composed by Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis and Yorgos Kouroupos. My main concern was that the adaptation and arrangement of the songs be plain and austere but also multi-coloured. Despite some quite bold alterations made, I do hope that the true spirit of these songs has been captured.
In this album, by some fluke of chance I had the opportunity to join forces with three magnificent musicians. And I use the word “chance” because I probably wouldn’t have met Christos Tsiamoulis hadn’t our daughters been born together, a month before the recording. Nor would have I met Yannis Kaimakis had he not visited Lyra Record company in Athens back then, carrying with him a little suitcase full of strange musical instruments, rather resembling to a wandering music-player from yesteryear!
Dimitris Zouboulis, whom I had also met a few days before the recording, came to complement our little ensemble, the existence of which was not at all accidental in the studio.
Savina Yannatou interpreted most of the songs at the same time these were performed live by the musicians in the studio, in my own initiative - such a thing is unfortunately no common practice any more.
Throughout the recording sessions, Savina’s rendition kept on amazing me more as she revealed and drew out of each song its own, distinctive character.
There it is then: Eastern and Western music culture can actually merge in harmonious co-existence, without engaging in any sort of vain confrontations or rejecting each other’s standing.
Nikos Kypourgos, March 1985