To subscribe to this newsletter which is emailed once a month email: info (at) kaliamusic.com
(Your email is safe with me! I do not pass it on to any third party.)
News for December
Dear Friends,We have reached the final month of 2013 and whilst you are checking your to-do and to-buy lists for Christmas or New Year, I hope you are finding time to listen to some good music and be merry!
I am going to be heading up to Cambridge for a concert with my group on Fri 13th of Dec. The concert will be at Anglia Ruskin University, as part of their lunchtime concert series in the Mumford Theatre. We will be playing my own compositions and Music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East from 1.10-2pm and entrance is free. Joining me will be Michalis Kouloumis (violin), Jon Banks (kanoun), Vasilis Sarikis (frame drum, riq, darbuka, cajon, percussion) and Ryan Trebilcock (double bass). For more info visit this link.
Vasilis Sarikis and our project ‘Dunya Duo’ will also be heading down to Eastbourne this month to deliver some workshops on the Skoog with ‘Live Music Now’. The Skoog is a new musical instrument designed specifically for children with special needs. It is a colourful squishy cube that plugs into a laptop and responds musically to touch. Vasilis and I have trained to use it and assist students to make music in this new way, finding creative outlets for expression through the body. To see the Skoog in action click here.
After a busy and eventful year, I feel it is time to take a break and gather together energy for the next year ahead. I will be travelling to Morocco with my partner and percussionist Vasilis Sarikis. We are hoping to soak up Gnawa music and culture in Essaouira and loose the sense of time listening to street musicians and trying out instruments in the markets of Marrakech. I would be happy to hear about your own adventures or any advice you have visited these places! Whatever your plans are for the Winter Break and the New Year, I hope you find the time to create moments of joy and rest, and to reflect on the year that has past.
News for November
I hope this newsletter finds you well. This month enters with screams and shouts for me, with the release of ‘Total War: Rome 2’, a new war and strategy game produced by SEGA, in which I recorded Middle Eastern style vocals. Players work with the Greco-Roman, Barbarian and Eastern culture’s political systems, taking the role of historic leaders and planning strategic attacks to lead their army’s into victory. The evocative sounds and visuals are sure to make this one of SEGA’s best series. For a taste of the graphics and sound click here and for more info on the game visit SEGA here.
On a more peaceful note, I am happy to be collaborating with ‘Musiko Musika’, leading world music workshops in schools across London. Last month I joined them for workshops at Stoneydown school in Walthamstow, and later this month we will be at Orion School in Collindale. ‘Musiko Musika’ run a number of projects in music education, funded by Arts Council England and Youth Music, more details here.
Despite all the teaching, I am excited to be ‘returning to the classroom’ and taking a CPD course this month with ‘The Voices Foundation’. Lead by Carol Kendall and funded by Arts Council England, this 5 day course will be focusing on developing a more vocal approach to music education. For more information on the work of ‘The Voices Foundation’ visit their website here.
Thank you for your support and continued interest
News for October,
Dear Friends, I am happy to share with you a number of performances I will be doing in October.
The month started off with a performance of the poem ‘Prophetic Children’ at Europe House, on the 2nd of Oct. The poem, written by Fathieh Saudi describes the lives of the prophets: Abraham, Jesus, Moses and Mohammad. The performance supported by ‘Exiled Writers Ink’ was read by four poets/actors with music by myself (nay and voice) and Danae Elleni (voice). The performance will be repeated as part of the ‘Nour Festival’ at the Ismaili Centre on 27th of Oct. Further details here.
I always feel like world music festivals are most suited to the summer months, but it feels like a treat to be playing at an indoor Autumnal 3-day music festival in Whitby. ‘Musicport’ is in its 14th successful year running, and I’m happy to be part of the line-up with the Jadid Ensemble. I will be playing nay alongside band leader guitarist Glenn Sharp, for some Arab-Flamenco inspired music. Tickets and info here.
My band and I will be making a comeback in London since our last performance in February, with a concert at City University on the 22nd of Oct. I will be performing my own compositions as well as music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East with Jon Banks (kanoun), Vasilis Sarikis (frame drum, riq, darbuka, cajon, percussion) and Ruth Goller (double bass). The concert will be part will be part of the ‘Inside Out Festival’ .The festival is curated by ‘The Cultural Capital Exchange’ showcasing the contribution of Universities to London’s cultural life. This concert is free to attend, but a booking is required, here.
Also, a big thank you for your emails reflecting on my newsletters, I am always happy to hear from you!
News for September
I hope the summer has left you refreshed and relaxed! I had an inspiring time in my village in Crete and caught up with the Athens music scene in August. With the start of the new academic year, September is often a time for me to focus on my teaching in the year ahead.
This year I will be taking up three new teaching posts. I will be joining Enfeild Music Service as a woodwind tutor, teaching flute and recorder in two schools in the Borough. I am also excited to assist leading the North London ‘Ethnic Classical Contemporary Orchestra’, a project organised by Enfeild, Barnet and Haringey Music Services in conjunction with ‘Musiko Musika’. The project, including performances and workshops, will run as an after-school club in three North London schools over a period of two-years. For more info, click here
Next month I will also be running a Ney course at the Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre in Warren Street. I will be giving group lessons every Thursday 6.30-8pm focusing on Ney technique, Classical and Folk repertoire, makam (modal theory), usul (rhythmic theory) and taksim (improvisation). For more information and to sign up to classes visit the Yunus Emre Centre here.
With these new posts, I will still continue to have time for my students which I see privately in NE London and across the globe via Skype! It is such a joy for me to watch students develop on their instruments over time. I particularly admire all the adult students I have, who despite work and family commitments, still find the time to educate themselves and learn and instrument. To encourage this studying, over September I am offering free introductory lessons to anyone interested! If you are wondering how you can possibly get a sound on the nay, how to play flute and recorder, or how to do those fast Eastern vocal ornaments, get in touch!
News for August
I hope you are enjoying the summer! I am taking the whole of August off to spend some time in my village in Crete. I will also spend a week doing a Balkan Music Course on kaval with Ivan Varimezov at Ross Daly’s Labyrinth Music Centre. Ivan is an outstanding Gaida player and bearer of the Bulgarian music tradition, along with his wife, singer Tzvetanka Varimezova. You can watch a video of them here, and find out more details about Labyrinth here.
Things return to normal in London this year, without the Olympics hype we had last summer! Some great festivals are back and I was pleasantly surprised to visit the Turkish Festival on the Southbank and the Africa Festival in Covent Garden this year. I also strongly recommend the art exhibition ‘Vemeer and Music’ at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition displays 17th Century Dutch paintings with the subject of music. There are also instruments on display and performances from the ‘Academy of Ancient Music’. The exhibition coast £7 and is on until the 8th of September, more info here.
Enjoy the sun whilst it lasts and I hope to catch up with you all in Autumn!
News for July
As the festival season has officially started, I hope you are getting the chance to listen to some original and inspiring music outdoors! My highlight in the past month was playing nay and doing backing vocals for Natacha Atlas on FIP Radio France, in Paris. A video of the full concert and a podcast are available here
I am happy to be performing at a Gala for Wallee at St.Ethelburga’s, on Saturday the 6th of July. St.Ethelbruga’s has always been a favourite venue of mine, and its music director Wallee McDonald will now be moving on. Wallee curated their ‘Listen to the World’ concert series over eight years and 200 gigs. For his last concert musician’s that have frequented the venue will give short performances. I will perform solo and with bass player Daphna Sadeh. More info on Daphna here and for booking tickets here.
A Serbian Fairy Tale project was Funded by the Arts Council and the Serbian Council of Great Britain to mark the bicentenary of the Brother’s Grimm publication of Fairytales. Lead by Jelena Curcic, it is a Live Literature Project using spoken word, music, literature, illustration and art. Having completed a London tour, it will be travelling around the UK this Autumn. I will be taking part in the last London performance, playing some Greek/Bulgarian kaval and singing, this Sunday the 7th of July, at Cable Street Studios, at 8pm, £5 entrance. More details and tickets here.
Later on in the month on Saturday the 13th, I will be travelling to York to give a private performance at Berden Hall for the ‘Mazazik Middle Eastern Dance’ group, run by Jane Wass. I will be playing nay with guitarist Glenn Sharp and his group ‘Jadid Ensemble’. Jane and I recently collaborated at a Dance Retreat in Ireland, so it will be nice to see her again! Glenn and I have been friends but never had the chance to collaborate before, so I am looking forward to this first! More info on Glenn here.
As always, I can’t thank you enough for your interest in my work
News for June
The summer months come and opportunities for travel arise. Last month I travelled to Ireland, to West Cork for the ‘Mazizak Egyptian Dance Retreat’. I played music with Guy Shalom (percussion) for dance workshops lead by Jane Wass. Highlights of the weekend included the evening performance and improvising in the outdoors! The venue was the beautiful ‘An Sanctoir Holistic Community Centre’. More info about Jane Wass here, Guy Shalom here, and An Sanctoir here.
Next week I have the delight of travelling to France for a concert in Paris with Natacha Atlas. I will be playing nay with her band for a live radio interview/performance on Radio France on Thursday the 6th of June.
I also wanted to bring to your attention to frame-drum workshops that Vasilis Sarikis is doing as part of the ‘SOAS World Music Summer School’. Lessons will take place from the 24-28th of June at 5-7pm at SOAS in Russel Square. I will be joining Vasilis for some of the sessions to play a few melodies on the nay that students can drum to. For workshop bookings click here and for a video of Vasilis playing frame drum click here
Thank you for your support. Knowing that you read this newsletter encourages me to be a better artist!
News for May
I hope you are enjoying the long awaited warmth of Spring! I am taking some time off this month for a break during Greek Easter which is this weekend. I will spend some time in Yorkshire and hope to be relaxed and inspired by the beautiful countryside and friendly people there.
Later on in the month I will be doing a small performance at Cultural Co-operation’s ‘Artist Showcase’, taking place at Goodenough College in Russel Square, on Thursday the 16th of May, in the evening. Cultural Co-operation is an organisation promoting cultural heritage in arts and education. For more info on their work and bookings for the event click here.
I’d also like to share with you a nay taqsim which I just uploaded on Soundlcloud, here. It is an improvisation I did on Arabic flute, trying to bring out a variety of instrumental colours, whilst blending different maqam (modes).
Thank you for your continued interest and support
News for April
I hope you have some fun time over the Spring Break this weekend. I wanted to share with you some projects I have planned this month:
Next week I will be performing a live score with Amira Kheir’s band for a silent 1920’s film. ‘Sumurun’ directed by Ernst Lubitsch is based on one of the stories of the Arabian Nights. The project will be presented in London at the British Film Institute as part of the ‘Sound and Silent’ festival, next Thursday the 4th of April, and in Bristol at The Watershed on Sunday the 14th of April. Click on the links for: a clip of the film, BFI details and Watershed details.
Later on in the month, Vasilis Sarikis and I will be giving workshops with our project ‘Dunya Duo’, in ‘Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Singing and Percussion’. The workshops will take place at St.Ethelburga’s Centre of Reconciliation and Peace, as part of their ‘Listen to the World’ day, on Saturday the 13th of April, 11am-1pm. The workshop price will be £15, and can be bought in advance here. There will be other workshops taking place throughout the day, including Brazilian percussion and dance.
Check out the new track I posted on Soundcloud, of an Afghan traditional song called ‘Layli Jan’. This track was arranged, performed and recorded by a Youth Group I lead. It comes from a CD of World Music Songs we made, funded by BBC Children in Need, London Borough of Barnet and Paiwand. Listen here.
May Spring bring you light and warmth!
News for March
Last month was a fantastic month with projects and events gradually building up into the year. I was also pleasantly surprised to have a track featured on ‘Late Junction’ with Fiona Talkington on BBC Radio 3. The track which I recorded with my band was an old Cretan song, called ‘Dakrizo me Parapono’, which I arranged using harmonies from Greek Byzantine Chant. It was placed preceding a track from Stephan Micus’s new album ‘Panagia’ (meaning Virgin Mary in Greek) featuring music set to six Greek Orthodox prayers. This episode on the 6th of February was another really thought out program from Fiona Talkington, finding elements that connect music from different genres and cultures. Details of the program’s playlist can be found here and listen to future programs here.
I am happy to start this month with a performance tonight at St.Ethelburga’s, with the work ‘Prophetic Children’; a sequence of poems which imagine the childhoods of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, written by Fatieh Saudi. Vasilis Sarikis (percussion) and myself (voice, nay) have been working on a musical backdrop that gives first place to the text which will be read by Fatieh Saudi, Katie Rose, Rafiq Abdullah, and John Cash and directed by Simon Keyes. Tonight will be the first staged performance in the UK, which will later be toured in synagogues and mosques in London. More info here.
If you would like to watch this but cannot make it all the way down, then join us from the comfort of your home through live streaming in the UK and Internationally here.
Later on this month, on the 24th of March, I will be performing with a collective of Greek musicians at Mythopolis. The event is to celebrate the Greek National holiday of the 25th of March, commemorating the 1821 Revolution for Independence from Ottoman rule. It will be a relaxed Sunday afternoon performance with Greek meze, in a space open to families and children. More info here.
Finally, I decided to do the Linkedin thing, and set up a profile last month! If you are also there and would like to connect, do send me a link here.
Thank you for continuing to read this newsletter!
News for February
I hope by now you are settled into 2013, and have started to materialise any resolutions you had! Last month, I have been rehearsing with my band and we are all psyched up for our upcoming concert at St.Ethelburga’s next week on Friday the 8th of February. We will be performing my own compositions and music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East with Jon Banks (kanoun, santour), Vasilis Sarikis (darbuka, daff, riq, daouli), Ruth Goller (double bass) and special guest Theo Lais (lafta, lyra, laouto, guitar). Doors open at 6.45pm, the concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door. There will also be drinks and delicious cooked food available. Click here for info.
This beautiful venue, once a church bombed by the IRA is located in the heart of commercial London, and has a series of world music concerts you might be interested in, here. I am indebted to Wallee McDonald, the music director and world music promoter, for this quote he gave me: ‘Kalia is one of the UK’s leading world music singers’. What an honour!
Thank you to everyone who listened to the BBC Radio 3 ‘World Routes’ show I was featured on, and who emailed me positive feedback. If you didn’t have a chance to listen, the podcast is now available here.
I still have fresh in my ears the sound of Theodosii Spassov’s kaval, at a concert he gave with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on the 31st of January. As I am learning the kaval myself, Theodosii is a great inspiration to me. He completely re-invented the instrument and increased its capabilities, blending Bulgarian music with Jazz, Classical and Experimental. If you don’t know his work I urge you to check out his website here, or this video of him playing kaval during a sunset on the island of Santorini in Greece….!
I hope you enjoy this month, and for the romantics amongst you, here are some lyrics from one of the love songs I have written called ‘Roumbalia’:
Από τα χείλει σου τα δύο, κρέμμετε η ζωή μου, Κι αν δεν σε δώ για μιά στιγή, μαράινεται η ψυχή μου
From your two lips, does my life hang, And if I do not see you for one moment, my soul withers
News for January
I hope you are having a good start for the New Year. I wish you every success and joy in all that you do this year!
I am excited that my first concert of the year will be with my partner Vasilis Sarikis and our project ‘Dunya Duo’ at Warwick Arts Centre on Thursday the 10th of January. We will perform our own compositions and arrangements of music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Our concert will be part of their lunchtime series from 1 to 2pm in the Ensemble Room at Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL. Entrance is free and more details can be found here.
‘Dunya Duo’ will also be playing at the Migrant and Refugee Forum on the 18th of January. We look forward to doing some community music and exchanging stories and songs with London immigrants. For more information on the support the form provides to immigrants click here.
Tune in to BBC Radio 3 for the show World Routes with Lucy Duran on Sundaythe 20th of January at 10.30pm. Lucy invites me to the studio for an interview and a live recording of my music. The show will feature discussion, music from Crete, and my own compositions inspired by the music of Thrace and Asia Minor. Go to the website here.
I wanted to give you a little heads up about a concert happening in the first week of February. I will be playing with my band at ‘St.Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace’ on Friday the 8th of February. I will be performing original compositions and music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East with Jon Banks (kanoun), Vasilis Sarikis (percussion) and Ruth Goller (double bass). I will also be delivering a workshop and further details will be posted in my next newsletter. The concert will start at 7.30pm and tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door. Click here for info.
Kali Hronia (Happy New Year)!
News for December
Just sending a quick email to wish you all a happy festive season! I’ll be spending most of this month in my village in Crete. I am looking forward to having the time and mind-space to compose some new pieces and plan exciting projects for the year ahead! 2012 has been a great year for me, and looking back there have been many moments I would like to remember:
Playing nay and singing backing vocals with Natacha Atlas’s band for a concert in Cherbourg, France, as part of the Festival Femmes dans la Ville. Info here
Teaching workshops in Middle Eastern Music at the British Museum, and performing as part of their exhibitions: ‘Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam’ and ‘The Horse’. Info here
Travelling to New York and sitting in rehearsal with musicians from the ‘New York Arab Orchestra’ and having geeky nay talks with their musical director Bassam Saba! Info here
Running a Youth Music Group and recording a CD with funding from the ‘BBC Children in Need’. Info here
Appearing on ‘World on 3’, BBC Radio 3 with the Balkan group ‘Paprika’ and joining them for summer festivals in Oundle and Holt. Info here
Studying ‘Percussion for non-Percussionist’ with Zohar Fresco at Labyrinth. Info here
Being invited to take part in the ‘Euro-Med Youth Music Expo’ in Limassol, Cyprus, which was organised by ‘Epilogi Cultural Movement’, ‘The Arab Academy of Music’ and ‘Jeunesse Musicales’. Info here
Performing our project ‘Dunya Duo’ with percussionist Vasilis Sarikis at: the Leeds College of Music (Leeds International Concert Season), Warwick Arts Centre, The National Portrait Gallery and St.Jame’s Theatre (London Jazz Festival). We also had lots of fun and long talks ‘on-the-road’ during our tours in York, Leeds and Lincolnshire. Info here
Playing at The Green Note (my favourite London venue!) with: Melange, Sally Pomme Clayton and my own band. Info here
What lovely memories! Thank you all for your continued support. I hope this has been a good year for you and that 2013 is a lucky and auspicious year for you all!
Thank you to those of you who came to some of my concerts last month, especially to the Green Note gig which became sold out. Those of you that didn’t make it can catch a glimpse on this YouTube video here.
At the Green Note concert I had the chance to play my new kaval which I bought from Panos Zikidis in Thessaloniki, Greece. This month I will have time to working on improving my technique and building new repertoire. The kaval is a flute played in Greece and Bulgaria, which is similar to the nay. It has a very distinct breathy wooden sound, created by the beautiful Indian Ebony wood it is made of. If you are interested to read more, some basic info can be found here and a wonderful recording I came across including kaval is ‘Anthology of Traditional Songs and Dances from Bulgaria’ by Arc Music Productions which can be bought here.
My main concert this month will be with ‘Dunya Duo’ opening for the album launch of ‘Mavrika’ at St.James Theatre on Friday 9th of November at 8.30pm. Tickets are £10/6 and more info can be found here. We will be playing our set with music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East with myself on voice, nay, kaval, bendir and Vasilis Sarikis on riq, darbuka, frame drums, cajon and percussion. ‘Mavrika’ are Chris Morphitis on bouzouki, Katina Kangaris singing, Peter Hajloff on bass and Tom Skinner on drums. They will present their album with a fresh take on Greek Rebetika.
Vasilis Sarikis and I will then be touring Lincolnshire from the 24th to the 30th of November with Live Music Now and our project Dunya Duo. We will be doing interactive concert-workshops for SEN schools in the area. Live Music Now is a charity set up by Yehudi Menuhin bringing live music to audiences that have limited access to conventional music making. For more info on the fantastic work they do, click here.
I also have some gigs to recommend to you, as many top musicians not to be missed are passing by through London this month! Here are some performances I will go to which I recommend: If you are into Sephardic songs, don’t miss Yasmin Levy at the Barbican. I might bump into you as my partner Vasilis Sarikis will be playing percussion in the opening set. This is on Wednesday 7th of November, 7.30pm, tickets £15.50/24, further details here. Armenian oud player Ara Dinkjian will be at the Purcell Room with his Quartet mixing jazz with Middle Eastern and Armenian music as part of the London Jazz Festival on Sunday the 18th of November, 7.45pm, £25/15. Tickets and info here. One last recommendation is Niyaz, playing at the Rich Mix on Friday the 23rd of November at 8pm, tickets £12/15. Based in Montreal, Niyaz marry Sufi Mystical poetry and folk songs from the Middle East with modern electronics and the unmistakable voice of Azam Ali. For more info and a taster click here.
Thank you for continuing to read my newsletters. May your month be dynamic and spectacular, like the fireworks lighting the cold London night skies these days!
I hope you are enjoying Autumn! I haven’t got into the autumnal feel yet, as I just got back from sunny Cyprus and this years ‘Euro-Med Youth Music Expo 2012’. Organised by ‘Epilogi Cultural Movement’, ‘The Arab Academy of Music’ and ‘Jeunesse Musicales’, the Expo brought together musicians and representatives of the music industry for four days of workshops and performances. Highlights of the event included talks by Dirk Van Welden and Jan Pauly on using social media for promotion (see their project here), and performances by Autostrad (Jordanian indie/funk – click here) and Naya (all-female Arabic Classical Ensemble).
Those of you into radio might want to tune in to Resonance 104.4fm, on Monday 15th October at 1.30pm for a brief interview I will give on the show ‘Six Pillars’. I’ll be playing live in the studio and talking about my work and upcoming projects, more info here .
What I am most looking forward to this month is my next concert with my group at the Green Note, in Camden, on Friday 19th of October at 9pm, NW1 7AN. I will present my own compositions and arrangements of my favourite tunes with Jon Banks (kanoun), Vasilis Sarikis (riq, darbuka, frame drum, cajon) and Ruth Goller (double bass). This will be an evening with songs of love and betrayal, sorrow and celebration and nostalgia for far-away homelands! Tickets £8 in advance here and £10 on the door. Doors open at 7pm, book a table in advance for a scrumptious veggie dinner!
If you can’t make that concert, I’ll be back at the Green Note on Sunday 28th of October, for a ‘Telling Tales’ performance with storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton, more info here. Sally is a mesmerizing storyteller and friend and I will be supporting her tales from the Middle East with nay and singing along with Elizabeth Nott (percussion) and Shirley Smart (cello). Entrance £9, doors open 7pm, performance starts 9pm, NW1 7AN.
I am happy to have been offered a stall at this year’s Arts Education Open Day taking place in West London, on Wed 24th October. Artists, musician and cultural practitioners will get a chance to promote their work to teachers and educational institutions. I will be promoting the work I do with Vasilis Sarikis (percussion) and our project ‘Dunya Duo’ engaging children in workshops and performances with music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. More info here.
Finally, at the end of the month, I will be performing at an event celebrating the work of cookery book author Claudia Roden, organised by the Jewish Music Institute. This is a private function I will do with Jon Banks (kanoun), Emanuelle Mann (bass) and Vasilis Sarikis (percussion) but I thought I’d mention her work, as she has published some mouth-watering cookery books with beautifully illustrated recipes from Morocco, Spain, Turkey and the Middle East, which you can find here. It’s never too early to stock up on Christmas presents!
I hope you enjoy October and take the opportunity to disguise and get into some innocent trickery at the end of the month! Thank you for supporting and following my work.
I hope you have had an exciting summer holiday and are fresh and revived! I had a wonderful time in Greece in my village in Crete. I also spent time at ‘Labyrinth’ studying Early Music with Efren Lopez, more info here . We covered some beautiful troubadour songs and early church chants, and I had the opportunity to freshen up my recorder playing! I also studied ‘Percussion for Non-Percussionist’ with Zohar Fresco. Zohar’s teaching and playing was overwhelming and inspiring and gave me plenty of ideas on how to use rhythm creatively in performing and composing. Check out his website here
All of this music and sun was intoxicating, but I am back to work mode in London. Lots of concerts and projects are planned for this new term and I am excited to get back into things. My first concert this month is at the National Portrait Gallery with Vasilis Sarikis and our project ‘Dunya Duo’. We will be performing our own compositions and music of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East as part of the Galleries’ series ‘Late Shift’. Join us for a free concert on Friday 14th of September from 6.30pm to 7.15pm at 2 Saint Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Details here.
At the end of the month I will be taking part in the ‘Euro-Med Youth Music Expo 2012’held in Limassol, Cyprus. This is an initiative of ‘Epilogi Cultural Movement’, ‘The Arab Academy of Music’ and ‘Jeunesse Musicales’, bringing together over 130 young musicians for four days of workshops and collaborations leading to performances. I am very grateful to have been selected to take part this year and look forward to it! The concerts will take place on the 29th and 30th of September at 7pm at ‘Rialto Theatre and Heroe’s Square’, keep up-to-date here.
I’d like to let you know in advance of date coming up for your diaries next month. I will be doing a concert on Friday 19th of October at 9pm at the Green Note, 106 Parkway, NW1 7AN. I will present my own compositions and arrangements of my favourite tunes with Jon Banks (kanoun), Vasilis Sarikis (riq, darbuka, frame drum, cajon) and Ruth Goller (double bass). This will be an evening with songs of love and betrayal, sorrow and celebration and nostalgia for far-away homelands! Tickets £8 in advance here and £10 on the door.
Thank you for continuing to follow my work, your support is invaluable!
News for August
I hope you are having an exciting summer holiday! I am going to spend most of August in Greece, in my village in Crete. I am going back to the ‘classroom’ and will be studying ‘Percussion for non-Percussionist’ with Zohar Fresco at Labyrinth. Labyrinth is a unique place dedicated to the study of traditional music set up by Ross Daly, and this year it celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Check it out here
I also have some new videos of my compositions on YouTube if you’d like to have a look. This one here is from a concert I did with my band at a Member’s Night at the British Museum in May. And this one here is from a collaboration I did with Kuljit Bhamra and other world music artists for a concert at Warwick Arts Centre in January.
I hope you all enjoy your summer and can catch some sun, whether it is in on a deck chair in a back garden, lying on the grass in a park or smothered in sun cream on the beach! (And don’t forget to turn on the music!)
News for July
The summer festival season has arrived and I hope you all get a chance to sit on some grass and listen to some good music somewhere! I will be performing at two festivals this month with the Balkan band ‘Paprika’. I will join them with virtuosic, foot-tapping tunes and songs from Greece and Eastern Europe. Our first concert is at ‘Oundle International Festival’ in Northamptonshire on Saturday the 21st of July at 7.30pm. For tickets and more info click here . The second concert is part of the ‘Holt Festival’ on Sunday the 22nd of July at 9pm. For tickets and more info click here .
There is so much to choose from this month with the London Olympics that it’s hard to decide where to go! Those of you that would like a poetry reading with solo nay improvisations, come at join us as Ethelburga’s Centre of Reconciliation and Peace. I will perform a short set at their evening of International Poetry : ‘Breathing Spaces’, which will feature poets from Sudan, Jordan and Malaysia. Drift off to distant lands in their Bedouin tent in the heart of London. More details here .
There seems to be so much on this month, that I am sure you will all be busy absorbing all the culture! Have a lovely summer full of sunshine and warmth, wherever it is that you can find it!
News for June
This month started off with an impromptu invitation to perform at the ‘Lahd Gallery of Contemporary Arabic Art’ for the exhibition opening of Irini Gonou’s ‘A tale of Two Cultures’. Irini’s exhibition addressed and explored the power of the written word as a specific cultural idiom. Using natural materials such as clay, textile and leaves, her work is a dialogue between Greek and Arabic cultures. As a response to this theme, I performed music from the Greek and Arabic tradition on Arabic nay and voice, with Theo Lais on Greek lafta ad lauto. Those of you interested can still visit the exhibition which will be on display until the 18th of July, here
Later this month Vasilis Sarikis and I will be performing our project ‘Dunya Duo’ at Warwick Arts Centre on Thursday 21st June at 1pm. This is a free concert part of the centre’s Summer Lunchtime Concert Series. Our set will include our own compositions and music from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East on nay (Arabic flute), voice, frame drums and Arabic percussion. For more details click here
I will also be appearing as guest at the Green Note on Monday 25th June, to play a few tunes with the ‘Melange Collective’. The night will start at 9pm, £8 on the door, more details here
Stay in touch with tweets of any other spontaneous performances @kalia_music on here
I hope you are enjoying the start of what should be a brilliant summer!
News for May,
Just a quick note about some things I am up to this month you might be interested in:
Tune in to BBC Radio 3 on Friday the 11th May at 11pm, for live music and an interview of ‘Paprika’ with Mary Ann Kennedy for the World Music program ‘World on 3’. I appeared as a guest singer with ‘Paprika’ on their recent CD and will be joining them in the studio to sing some Balkan tunes. Click here for more details.
I am looking forward to being back at the British Museum for a concert for their exiting new exhibition on the Arabian Horse. I will be performing my own compositions as well as Arabic Classics with: Soufian Saihi (oud), Ruth Goller (double bass) and Vasilis Sarikis (percussion). This is a member’s only night on Monday the 28th of May, starting at 6.15pm. For more info click here.
The Youth Music Project I am running at Whitefeild School with the support and funding of ‘BBC Children in Need’, is getting close to the final stages of recording an album. The group have learnt a repertoire of songs and soon this month we will take their fresh new arrangements into the studio for recording.
I had some exciting recording sessions last month including working at Intimate Studios with Nick Page and recording nay parts for a Pampers TV advert to be released in the Middle East, commissioned by Attab Haddad.
Have a Happy Month of May! (or as we say in Greece: Kalo Mina!)
News for April
I hope Spring finds you with a fresh new outlook and re-energized from the dark winter months. I am certainly overcome by the chorus of birds outside my window every morning and the new flowers blossoming every day, as this year is the first time I’ve been in London and had a garden! Though London is a great place to live and work, what is a buzz can soon become a burden if you don’t escape frequently enough. I’m going to have a great escape to New York this month to give a little ‘spring cleaning’ to mind and soul. I’m looking forward to meeting some friends in the Big Apple and starting some new collaborations with members of the New York Arab Orchestra, click here for more details on their work.
I’m very happy to have started a new youth music project funded and supported by ‘BBC Children in Need’ (click here). The aim of the project is to record a CD with a group of young children. I am teaching a group of teenage children at Whitefeild School the basics of composing, arranging, recording and producing a CD. We have had our first three sessions this month and the group is looking very promising! We have a short performance coming up at Middlesex University, on the 19th of April, 6-8.30pm, along with other groups that have received part of the same arts grant.
I also wanted to bring to your attention the fact that last month Greece lost one of its national treasures – Domna Samiou. I have included a eulogy for this fantastic woman who devoted her life to Greek Folk Music:
Domna Samiou passed away on Saturday the 10th of March, aged 84. She was the mother of Greek Folk Music and her voice will be dearly missed. She inspired many of the younger generation of Greek musicians such as myself to learn and transmit Greek Folk Music. Through her work she ensured the continuation of a dying oral tradition, by transcribing and recording thousands of songs and creating a library of music. Her interpretation was pure, strong and vibrant. She was a powerful and persevering woman with a cause she lived for till the end. She sought detail and authenticity and sang with the integrity these songs deserve. It is through her recordings that I have learnt songs which I would not have otherwise come across. Those of us involved in Greek Folk Music owe much to her. She was the last surviving female folk singer of her generation, and there will never be another like her. May her memory live on and may she continue to inspire future generations through her recordings. Domna you will be truly missed.
Happy Easter to all that are celebrating!
News for March
Here’s a quick update of my activities this month:
Next week I will be touring York with ‘Dunya Duo’ for a series of concerts in hospitals and day-care centres organised by Live Music Now.
On the 9th March I’ll be playing nay with Natacha Atlas’s band for a concert in Cherbourg, France. It will be part of the Festival Femmes dans la Ville 2012 at the Theatre l’Italienne at 8.30pm.
At the end of the month, on the 31st March, I will be leading a second round of workshops on Middle Eastern Music at the British Museum as part of their new exhibition on ‘Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam’. The first of these sessions was much enjoyed by the children as they take part in a wide range of activities and then get to sleepover at the museum amongst the exhibits once they are too tired for more! The event starts from 6.15pm till 9am the next morning, and costs £32.50.
Check out some new videos I uploaded onto YouTube this month from a concert I did with my group at the Green Note in London, in October 2012:
Happy Nowruz to those of you that are celebrating, and if you aren’t, I hope Spring brings you many fresh ideas and newfound energy!
News for February
I’m starting of the month with a concert on the 1st of February at Leeds College of Music. Vasilis Sarikis and I are performing our project ‘Dunya Duo’ as part of the Leeds International Concert Season. Those of you up North that would like to join us, come to this freebie at The Venue, Leeds College of Music, 3 Quarry Hill, LS2 7PD for a 1pm start. For more info click here.
I’m looking forward to working with kids on the 4th of February at the British Museum, as part of their new exhibition on ‘Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam’. Those of you looking for fun children’s activities in London, this is guaranteed to be a memorable one, as children get to sleepover at the museum amongst the exhibits! The event starts from 6.15pm till 9am the next morning, and costs £32.50. I will be delivering 4 workshops on Middle Eastern Music and there will be a full range of other activities as well. (The Sleepover will be repeated on 31st of March as well). Details can be found here.
That’s all for this month, and I’ll keep you posted with any further updates. Thank you again for your interest in my work. You inspire me to be all the more creative!
News for January
I hope that 2012 is a year full of health, happiness and creativity for all of you! I have had a really inspiring time in Crete over the holiday season and now I’m back in London planning lots of new concerts and projects for the New Year. The first concert will be a collaboration with various world music artists including Kuljit Bhamra (Indian tablas), Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian (Armenian Harp), Rafael (flamenco guitar), Demi Garcia Sabat (percussion) and myself on nay and flute. In December I did a nay session with Kuljit at his ‘Red Fort Studios’ where he recorded ‘The Path of Pearls’, composed by Julene Siddique. This time we will be playing together for this concert he is organising in Coventry at the Warwick Arts Centre, CV4 7AL, on Sunday the 22nd of January at 7pm.
I also uploaded some videos on YouTube of a new project I’ve been involved in with Kit Downes (piano), Ruth Goller (bass) and Vasilis Sarikis (percussion) and myself on nay. We’ve been writing our own compositions based on Middle Eastern music and jazz. Click to watch: video 1, video 2, video 3. I’ll be in touch with further events throughout the year. Happy New Year!