Harmolipi (Joyful Sadness) and the importance of Apodimi Compania in the cultural scene of Greek – Australia
Harmolipi (Joyful Sadness) is Apodimi’s 9th album, released in 2023 and marks the band’s 39th birthday which coincides with its 2023 tour of Australia. Apodimi Compania is mainly a concert-stage performance and album recording band that revives and arranges lesser known songs and tunes from the Folk and Rebetika musical traditions of Greece.
This album includes arrangements of songs and tunes from the Folk tradition, the Smyrneic and Rebetika pre-war era, as well as the post-war era. There is also a song written by band member Yiannis Niarhos dedicated to the memory of long time and now deceased Apodimi member, Hector Cosmas.The arrangements respect the idiom, the cultural, social and historical background in which these songs were created, songs of Joy and Sorrow, of Harmolipi.
Nowadays, Melbourne’s Rebetica and Folk music scene, enriched with new arrivals from Greece, people who migrated to Australia due to the financial crisis of 2010 – 2020, owes much to the presence and style of music that Apodimi Compania featured and played in their youth back in the day. If today Music Festivals in Australia invite Greek – Australians or musicians from Greece to perform, this is mainly due to Apodimi who paved the way back then playing at all major Folk Festivals.
For Greek-Australians of the last forty odd years, Apodimi Compania is a life-long constant, as well as a means of forging individual and collective ethnic and aesthetic identities .Every tour of the band in Australia becomes a cultural event and an excuse for the gathering of old friends which circumstances have sent to the four corners of Oceania.
Unfortunately, to date, there are no in depth historical and sociological studies regarding the presence and significance of the Greek Community in post – war Australia.Nevertheless, if and whenever these studies are conducted, rest assured that they will have extensive references to the work and legacy of Apodimi Compania.