25 June 2020 President Meta decorates prominent polyphonic singers Demir Zyko (posthumously) and Dule Caushaj (Malindi): Mountains and songs have saved our nation!
President of the Republic, H.E. Ilir Meta visited today Skrapar, where he awarded with the high decoration “Honor of the Nation” the famous singer Demir Zyko (posthumously), with the motivation: “For outstanding values as a singer with a golden voice of polyphony with iso of Toskëria. With gratitude to the outstanding bearer of the values of the Albanian musical and spiritual heritage, who was and remains a rare model for their preservation and transmission for generations “.
The Albanian Head of State also praised Mr. Dule Caushaj (Malindi) with the title “Grand Master”, with the motivation “For his outstanding contributions to the dignified representation of polyphony with iso of Toskëria. With gratitude for the rare performances as a singer with special values in the unfolding of this precious heritage, in and outside our country “.
During his welcoming speech at the assessment of Demir Zykos, President Meta said:
“Dear sisters and brothers of Skrapar!
Dear our great poet Xhevahir Spahiu, that have honored us!
Many dear friends who have come here today from all over the country to take part in this event!
Dear cultural personalities!
It is a pleasure and a privilege to honor today two special and very prominent personalities not only of this region, but also of our culture.
I have known Demir Zyko more through Dritëro Agolli, this very great personality of our national culture, who had a special love for Skrapar, and one of the main reasons was the extraordinary adoration and appreciation for the great singer Demir Zyko. .
So every time we came to Skrapar, Dritëro insisted on visiting Gjerbës to honor the family of Demir Zyko, but also to sing and always say: ‘Uncle Demiri lives, because his song always lives’!
Mountains and songs have saved our nation! The mountains, because they were always the strongholds of freedom and resistance to the invader, and the songs because through them the language was preserved and the national pride and identity was passed down from generation to generation.
So I am very happy to honor today Demir Zykon, this extraordinary personality of our nation, who was the ‘maestro’ of the iso-polyphony and was rarely distinguished for interpreting songs with his group, thus honoring his collaborators: Medin Kushe, Shahit Gjinari, Neshat Ebibasi, Agim Cakrani, and many others.
As part of the 500th anniversary of Skanderbeg, at the National Folklore Festival in Lezha, he sang the lapidary song ‘Mbeçë more shokë!’:
‘Mbeçë, more shokë, mbeçë!.
përtej Urës së Qabesë!
Falëm me shëndet nënesë,
kaun e zi le ta shesë.
Në pyestë nëna për mua
i thoni që u martua.
Në pyestë se ç’grua mori
Tre plumba te kraharori.’
He sang like no other to the sorrows, sufferings, immigration, sacrifices of Albanians, but sang like a rarity to freedom:
‘39 mos ardhsh kurrë,
Ti që na rrëzove flamur!
(‘39 never come again,
You who threw down our flag!)
Demir Zykos’ golden voice was heard throughout Albania, until he passed away in 1992.
For the values of his very special musical interpretation and at the same time very difficult to be interpreted by anyone, Demir Zykos was awarded the high title ‘People’s Artist’.
Although not physically between us, the tradition of Skrapar’s song with iso of uncle Demiri, continues to be alive, through the interpretation by the singers of Skrapar and by the polyphonic group of the Cultural Association ‘Demir Zyko’.
Demir Zyko has been praised for his magical songs by researchers, musicologists, writers and artists for the voice of a lyrical, beautiful and extremely sweet tenor.
I would like to quote the words of the well-known scholar Shaban Sinani: ‘Uncle Demiri’s polyphony singled out and identified one of the purest and most original lectures of Albanian polyphony, Skrapar polyphony. The concept of indivisible polyphony dates back to ancient times.
Demir Zyko further took the Toskëria polyphonic song, the source of the Tomorri lands, and he not only revived it, but monumentalized the polyphonic song and remains one of the visages of the Albanian tradition.
Demir Zyko remains one of the rarest and most valuable values not only of Skrapar’s Toskëria iso-polyphony, but of all Albania.
The beautiful traditions of our country, the uniqueness and beauty of iso-polyphony, and many other precious values that we carry as a nation must be passed on to the younger generation, to be proud of them and to promote them as much as possible, because they are the pride of our country’s wealth and heritage. ”
While decorating Mr. Dule Caushaj (Malindi), the President of the Republic noted that:
“Dule Malindi is also a valuable follower of the best tradition of Toskëria iso-poliphony of the Skrapar area. Singer with special values in conveying this rich heritage inside and outside the country, whose honor I have today to award the title ‘Grand Master’.
Dule Malindi’s passion for folk song appeared in childhood by singing Skrapar’s polyphonic songs.
Born in Malind, he transmitted the village of the great poet Xhevahir Spahiu, the magic of his music, not only in his homeland but also abroad. His melodious voice and clarinet tried to extinguish the longing of Albanians who emigrated to their homeland.
Dule Malindi has a rich repertoire of songs, through which he transmits the depth of beauty and spirit of iso-polyphony and folk music.
He has best conveyed the tradition of Skrapar’s iso-poliphony song and without compromising it, has evolved his music bringing innovation to the popular folk song with civic elements.
To date, Dule Malindi has performed about 100 songs, videos and collages on various topics, collaborating on the realization of texts with poets known as Xhevahir Spahiu, with the creators Arben Duka, Jorgo Papingji, and with the most famous composers in the country.
His music has touched all parts of Albania, but it has also been heard in Kosovo and everywhere in the Albanian Diaspora, such as Macedonia, Turkey, Croatia, America, England, Greece, Italy and even distant Australia.
This rich career has come as a result of his dedicated work on song and music, his musical sound, sweet, attractive, which ranks among the best in Albania.
We are deeply grateful to Dule Malindi for the values he has shown and the inspiration he has conveyed to keep alive the tradition of Skrapar’s song and that of the whole nation.
He is a worthy follower of Demir Zyko, so we have joined these two assessments on this special day.
The President of the Republic together with the personalities of those present at the decoration activity attended the festive concert of folk groups of songs and dances of the area such as the polyphonic group of women of Skrapar and singers Petrit Lulo, Irini Qirjako, Ylli Baka and Avni Lushka.