An old style organ-grinder recorded in Plaka, Athens. Recorded with a Sony PC-120E DV camcorder. Two songs.
Brilliantly Horrific in its clashing tones.
Glad you like it! The lanterna is a mechanical organ that uses something like a perforated roll of thick paper to play tunes. It looks like a big box on a cart, with black & white film stills of famous Greek actors pasted all over it, sometimes a colourful drawing of a beautiful girl. The guy turns a handle that makes it go.
They used to be quite popular everywhere in Western Europe and in the Middle East, they were really high technology back in the old days, now they're just a curiosity. The guys who keep them are pretty down and out. They're not allowed to have monkeys or dancing bears on a leash anymore (at least not in Greece). I don't know if anyone still makes lanternas, the one in this recording hadn't been tuned or tweaked since who knows when, but I bet there's still some workshop in Istanbul stuggling to survive.
I recognize the sound, it's what we call in Spanish an 'organillo', kind of a barrel organ or mechanical piano. Street musicians used this often in the past, quite rare nowadays. Still common in Madrid, where for some reason this instrument is part of the local folklore. Here is a pic:http://roble.pntic.mec.es/~jferna22/NuestrosTrabajos/5a/Comunidad_de_Madrid/Image70.jpg
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