"[...]Ten compositions, alternating with location recordings of the surviving elderly residents of the village(at times singing, at times narrating their stories) salvaging and transforming a treasure trove, an elegy, of a disappearing poetry. A summation of some of the most creative musicians of the land who accompany Doneff, revealing an exquisite richness that would normally struggle to find expression through the channels of mainstream, alternative or independent local discography."

Yorgos Hristodoulopoulos, Eleftherotypia, Athens

"[...]Having obviously grown up in a land of cultural mosaics, Doneff, himself “crowned” by a hundred years of propaganda that sought, and continues to seeks to demean and obliterate the existence of Greece’s slavophone citizens, succeeds in creating a luminous jewel in the rather overdone, from an aesthetic point of view, genre of Balkan Jazz. What is the key to Doneff’s success? In his compositions of course, but also, perhaps mainly, in his life enhancing concept of enriching his creation with female voices of haunting quality. From there on the compositions, even when not explicitly intended to, assume the character of a requiem, vibrant with the sensitive playing of good musicians[…] but mainly with Doneff’s own determination to reclaim the dignity of his native land, at the same time interweaving into his compositions the authentic sounds of people and nature. Excellent album."

Fondas Troussas, Jazz & Jazz, Athens

"[...]Starting with a shamanistic reveille of voices with a variety of instruments, from trombone, oud, and tabla to drums flute and double bass, the composer undertakes the evocation of ghostly protagonists within a framework of Balkan sounds with Jazz overtones. At times the music gradually fades away, so you become aware of the distant escape of an approaching sound, the melancholic sound of piano keys, female voices, all arranged in an excellently produced piece of work that eschews the sleepy melancholy of a historical documentary or the intrusive stridency of political didacticism. Even handed, devoid of ethnic bias, a recall of personal recollection of memories and the language of western Macedonia, accompanied by expertly accomplished musicians whose musical insight silently turns mere notes into objects: “I knew so many songs, but I forgot them” says one of the “Penelopes of Xanthogeia” Slava Popva-Evdoxia Georgiou exorcising historical amnesia, confronting today’s world without a trace of anachronistic bitterness. Listening to “Rousilvo” provides the liberating concentration of reading a good book. The pictures are summoned from your own mind."

Kostas Venizelos, Difono, Athens

"[...]A devotee of essential and “substractively” necessary music, Doneff, driven by stories of the place where he was born and raised, unites sounds, melodies, music and words, creating a very special and novel integrated musical scenery that is deeply moving; creating pictures, smells and sentiments, revealing a side of our Balkan identity, until now, unknown to most of us."

Christos Michaleris, City, Thessaloniki


Translations by Nikos Hadziminas and Jonathan Smith