I thought I had shared this here, but I now see that I have yet to do that.
On August 30, 2016, the Legendary Maria FARANTOURI, whose voice I had heard – on disc only, as an adolescent while growing up in Chicago, – performed Live in Astros, Greece.
This was something I never thought I would ever experience Live, but in a twist of irony, I had gone to the other part of town, not the one hugged by the Aegean, where I now live, to buy cleaning supplies, mostly, to wipe away the filth that has surrounded me. And as I approached the market, I saw a poster of her, announcing a Free Concert. Surely I had missed it – such is my luck. I checked the date – August 30th – and wondered if that date had passed. It had not! Ah … The Gods must finally be watching over me, I thought. It was the 29th.
When I returned to the Aegean side of town, I could not contain my enthusiasm, as I announced what was for me, at least, a miraculous stroke of joy (SO rare.) ahead of me.
The concert was scheduled to begin at 9:30 pm.
Get there early, Giorgo said, to get a good seat.
I shall be there by 6! And I shall walk there, if necessary.
Not that early, Giorgo said. Nine should be early enough.
But, yes. I said. That early is the right time for me.
I arrived by 8:00, and was stunned to see this stunning and majestic, yet modest woman of indescribable Beauty, a true Artist, already on stage, rehearsing.
As I approached the stage, a man, sitting on bench, called out to me: “Your shoelaces are untied.”
… looked down, and said: “My shoelaces are frequently untied.” And I thanked him for the warning, and kept walking.
I won’t go into the glistening details of this monumental gift in my life now … Listen, however, and see for yourself – whether you understand (or not) the lyrics, most of them pulled from Poets throughout the world (BRENDHAN BEHAN, NERUDA) and set to haunting rhythms by Mikis Thodorakis, with whom FARANTOURI has collaborated and interpreted since she was a young woman, and who continues to do so. – whether you are moved by her Passion, as I am.
But others, as well, – other legends, whose music still breathes, though they no longer do … MANOS HADZIDAKIS.
But here, this is what I can offer – a somewhat crude translation – from the point of view of a poet, at least, – of the refrain …
“And I advanced into the night, without knowing anyone, and neither no one, and neither no one, knowing me.”
Knowing and recognizing, both one word, the same word used in the refrain, but whose interpretation, meaning, moves within its context. (NB) So I ended up changing it, specifically, because “ουτε” literally means neither. ) — even though I prefer using the same word, “γνωριζω,” to shift gears from one phrase to the next, from knowing to recognizing.
The other tricky word? Advanced. I will have to think about the best word that conveys its meaning in English. Walking is an unsatisfactory alternative, I think, even though that is the literal translation. But I may change my mind about that. I’m still in the kitchen … Cooking.