Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey Into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music

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Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.1 X 9.3 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Christopher C. King, a Grammy-winning producer, musicologist, and prominent 78 RPM record-collector, has written for The Paris Review and the Oxford American. Profiles of him have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Washington Post. He lives in Virginia.


Christopher King is a weird-old-music savant, a gifted collector, engineer, and student of early recordings. He is also a writer, one who has begun to unfold what he knows in essays of increasing excellence. I think of him mainly, though, as a navigator, whose observations I wait for the way sixteenth-century merchants may have waited on sailors' reports from America.--John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
A blithely informative, immensely entertaining, beautifully written discourse on a music tradition, born in an isolated mountain region long before Homer composed his epics, whose echoes can still be heard today all over the world.--Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni
Anyone interested in the power of music--spiritually, culturally, historically, or politically--will find this odyssey to be transformative. By way of an anthropological detective story, Christopher King deftly reveals details and echoing connections I personally never even imagined. Fascinating.--Jim Jarmusch
Christopher King is a formidable scholar and a magnificent writer, but what he does best is listen. No one has taught me more about music.--Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell at Any Price
Vivid and engaging. ...[E]nthusiasts will find much of interest in this well-researched book.
A fascinating journey led by a passionate guide.
Obsession makes for good books. ... [King's] rapture propels and frequently erupts into the prose of his report on his multifaceted quest ... [he] remains ardent to the point of mania throughout, so infusing us with his passion that even passages on music theory and the crafting of ancient instruments enthrall. This is a trip never to be forgotten.
A potent tale of discovery and loss in the isolated mountain villages of northwestern Greece ... a singularly fascinating musical odyssey.
Enjoy the hypnotic clarity of the landscape--physical, human and musical--that [King] paints. ... [Epirus's] depth and freshness are undeniable, and I thank Mr. King for giving me a sip.
The culmination of King's devotion to the music of this region and its connections to the lost traditions of American folk music... When you put down the book, having read King's rapturous descriptions of the tunes he loves, your own collection will seem suddenly aglow with a curious new power.
A must-read volume for those interested in music, even if your village is about as far from Epirus as can be... King explores music as a powerful form of communication, a tool for healing and even survival, as a shared experience for the community.
Half travelogue, half meditation, all confession, King's book is compelling, illuminating and funny.--Francis Gooding
A strange, hallucinatory musical odyssey.
Lament from Epirus is a master class in listening. Record collector and music scholar Christopher King goes to northwestern Greece, drinks 'perception-altering' tsipouru, dances in the street, and brings back as many stories as records...King captures the transcendence of both the music and the land.--Sasha Frere-Jones, writer and musician