For one week in every five years, two thousand singers, dancers, and musicians along with fifty thousand spectators make their way to the small town of Gjirokastra in southern Albania for the Festivali Folkloric Kombelar. In the great castle overlooking the town, they participate in the incredible National Folk Festival of Albania, hoping to attain the highest level of interpretation and win one of the many awards available the festival... the banner, even. Considering the comparatively small size of the country (just over three million inhabitants), the range of instruments, styles, and costumes seen at the festival is exceptional, sustaining a folk tradition that dates back to ancient Illyria. The works presented here in volume one are all live recordings made at the Gjirokastra Festival, taken from six of the 26 participating districts: Vlora, Gjirokastra, and Lorca from the south, and Shkodra, Debra, and Tropoja from the north. The original compact disc, released in 1990, was a collaboration between The Institute of Popular Culture, Tirana, The Albanian Shop Ltd., and Touch. Edited from the original ¼ tapes, mastered and produced by Touch. Compiled by Mike Harding, Liam McDowall, and Jon Wozencroft. Features Drita Metushi & Pretash Nikaj, Fatmir Dandlli & Endri Fifo, Eli Fara & Luiza Míça, Sofika Babliku & Ferit Shkëmbi, Folk Orchestra Of Korca, Myfterim Kupa & Fatmir Duka, Ibrahim Muça & Islam Mustafa, and unknown artists. Notes revised by Mike Harding, May 2018. Edition of 300." - Touch.