by Maria Kouvarou
(Sofie & Annita/Marios)
“I loved you before I’d seen you, and you’ve changed my life
you filled it with flower blooms, with colours and with beauty
and you casted far away all the sorrows of my soul”
Sofie sets her words in music and delivers them to her three daughters, creating melodic bridges of connection. She walks these bridges with her voice through the lullaby she created for her little girls, in itself a vessel in which resides the essence of life. Love and beauty, but pain and sorrow, too. Sofie sings the truth and sheds a strong light in the fact that, neither beauty nor sorrow can be the permanent state in one’s life, but love – even more so, that love shared between mother and her children – becomes the catalyst that strengthens the rights and weakens the wrongs.
In the melodies of Sofie’s lullaby, we can hear elements of Greek-Cypriot traditional music, while the words she sings are in the Greek-Cypriot dialect as well. In their household, she tells us, they love tradition and they often sing traditional songs. But language here assumes an additional role.
To begin with, as in every type of song, language – apart from a signifier of meaning – becomes itself a musical element. The choice of vowels, the uses of consonants, the rhythm of words, transform into sonic elements that blend with the rest of the musical sounds to create that experience that comforts a baby, that lulls it to sleep.
At the same time, by singing in her everyday language, Sofie makes it easier to speak the truth of the everyday experience. Unfiltered and realistically, she also sings to her daughters
“Even if the world is unfair, find your strength,
and even if you pick a wrong route,
while we roam on the earth, I will always stand by you to close every wound.”
…and that realistic approach, dressed as it is with maternal love, is both empowering and soothing. Empowerment and consolation – the paradoxical combination that become a human’s driving force.
Artist collaborating with mother: Annita Constantinou and Marios Kolonias
Lullaby Supported by: University of Nicosia
"Let us reveal to our children the beauty of music, and music shall reveal to our children the beauty of life" - José Antonio Abreu, Founder of El SIstema