“Argatia” means collaboration and solidarity between people. It was the practice of mutual exchange of free work among Greek farmers in Pontos (Black Sea). Though not practiced in Greece anymore, this social form is still alive among the Pontic-Greek speakers of contemporary Pontos in the eastern Black Sea shores of Turkey. Echoes of the spirit of Argatia can still be heard in our folk songs, despite decades of superficial “modernization”.
Our musical Argatia aims at creating solidarity bonds among people and to remind us the importance of arts and collective action in times of crisis. The Pontic-Greek music is a very special form of music art with unique sonic, lyrical, rhythmic and emotional features. We are inspired by the centuries old musical sounds of Pontic-Greek music masters as well as by contemporary creations.
Our love for the dialectic Greek folk songs, our deep belief in their promising future and our experimental spirit, are our guides in our fascinating musical exploration. Our repertoire is constantly renewed not only by new songs but also with new instruments, ideas and collaborations. Our band performs songs mainly in Pontic-Greek, a dialect of Greek that combines elements from classical and medieval Greek. We also present songs in languages and by people who lived or still live around the shores of the Black Sea such as Armenian, Laz, Turkish, Georgian and Bulgarian.
Philippos Kesapidis – pontian lyra
Stella Kampouridou – kaval
Thanasis Koulentianos – kanun
Yannis Karakalpakidis – bass
Christos Tasios – percussion
Onur Senturk – pontian lyra, tulum, baglama
Elsa Mouratidou – vocals
Kostas Kalousis – vocals
+41 79 557 11 36 Zürich Switzerland
+30 6979 274047 Kavala Greece
Argatia ensemble is available all year with a music program that can be customized to meet the requirements of any festival or venue. The size of the band can also be adapted for smaller venues (minimum 5 persons).