The Center for Modern Greek Studies, in cooperation with the School of Music at San Francisco State University, was very pleased to have sponsored this event for the campus community, students, faculty and staff, and as well as students from the San Francisco Conservatory to this exciting event.
Two of Greece's acclaimed musicians, Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma, presented a lecture, demonstration and musical performance in Knuth Hall, Creative arts Building, SF State University, Tuesday evening, October 16, 2012, 7:30 pm.
Originally from Ireland, with a few formative years spent in San Francisco, Ross Daly has lived on the Greek island of Crete for 35 years and has established the Labyrinth workshop to which musicians are invited to work and collaborate.
After many years of intensive training in a variety of musical traditions, Ross Daly has turned his attention largely to “contemporary modal composition,” drawing heavily on all of the knowledge which he acquired during his long apprenticeships with musicians he has encountered while traveling and living internationally. With mentors ranging from Greek, Kurdish and Afghan folk players to international musical icons like Ravi Shankar, Daly has cultivated a refined and prolific artistic voice, informed and inspired by the musical languages of the world. To date he has released more than thirty five albums of his original music as well as of his own arrangements of traditional melodies that he collected during his travels. His Labyrinth Musical Workshop on the island of Crete in Greece has become his base for personal and musical research and educational activities as he continues travelling around the world performing his music and collaborating with musicians representing a vast variety of traditions.
In the summer of 2004 Daly was the artistic director of the cultural program of the Olympic Games for the Olympic city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, titled "Crete, Music Crossroads". He organized and artistically supervised 15 concerts with the participation of 300 renowned musicians from all over the world including: Jordi Savall, Eduardo Niebla, Huun Huur Tu, Habil Aliev, Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Mohammad Rahim Khushnawaz, Trio Chemirani, and Adel Selameh among many others.
Kelly Thoma was born in Piraeus in 1978. Since 1995, she has been studying the lyra with Ross Daly and three years later started travelling with him and his group, “Labyrinth”, participating in concerts in Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S. She has taken part in many projects with musicians from various different traditions from other countries.
Being a member of "Labyrinth" and Labyrinth Musical Workshop she has had the chance to meet many important musicians such as the Trio Chemirani, Omer Erdogdular, Derya Turkan, Zohar Fresco, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Dhruba Ghosh, Ballake Sissoko, Erdal Erzincan, Mehmet Erenler, Hossein Arman,Yurdal Tokcan, Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz and many more. She participates in many of Ross Daly's projects : Ross Daly Quartet, Seyir, Iris, White Dragon (...) as well as in TOKSO string quartet, (with Anne Hytta, Sigrun Eng and Eleonore Billy). She has graduated from the English Literature department of the Athens University as well as from the ”Rallou Manou” Dance School.
Her first album titled 'Anamkhara' was released in 2009 by Seistron Music. It is comprised of seven of her own compositions with the participation of great masters Zohar Fresco, Efren Lopez, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Ahmet Erdogdular and Ross Daly.
The term "contemporary modal music" has been created by Ross Daly and describes the sum total of contemporary compositions created today by musicians working within various modal traditions. This music is the continuation of the procedure of modal composing through a very free perspective and is not at all connected with the goal of "preserving traditions". It is the contemporary expression of the beauty of modality (phrase-orientated non-harmonic music which often employs non-tempered intervals).
This event was generously sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, U.S.A., and the Nikos Kazantzakis Chair at SF State.