I participate in concerts with Ross Daly with different formations, ranging from quartet to larger orchestras, especially the group from Labyrinth Musical Workshop, where i also teach the Ney and Modal Music. Through these collaborations i had the chance to meet and play with great musicians as Kelly Thoma, Periklis Papapetropoulos, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Araz Salek, Imamyar Hasanov, Yurdal Tokcan, Murat Aydemir, Miles Jay, Giorgos Manolakis amongst others. Ross Daly and my experience in Labyrinth (in Crete / Greece) has had a major influence in my understanding and contact with Music and musicians.
Ross is a master musician in many instruments and a connoisseur in many musical traditions of the Middle East. Apart from this, his great talents as a teacher, as an incredibly giving kind and patient person, and his unconditional will to serve music led him to be considered as one of the most creative artists of the last decades in the area of Modal music. He has influenced deeply – and even led to one extent – the revival of traditional music in Greece in the 80s and 90s.
Till then traditional music and musicians where largely seen as unwanted links to conservatism and even in some cases with Greece’s obscure past (the 7 years dictatorship from 1967 to 74′). Ross and his work was, and still is, a great inspiration for many people, in this creative re-approach of modern Greek society, especially of younger people with traditional music from Greece, Turkey, the Balkans, Arabic countries, Middle East etc (what we would call Greece’s culturally neighboring countries). This phenomenon is described very well in the book of ethnomusicologist (also dear friend and co-musician in “yeden” group) Eleni Kallimopoulou: “Paradosiaká: Music, Meaning and Identity in Modern Greece” .
Labyrinth is the medium through which, the last 40 years, Ross has been teaching and inspiring students from Greece and all over the world, collaborating with top musician from all over the world and inviting master musicians to present their art and share their knowledge with whomever wishes to learn (usually both young and older musicians, professional as well as amateurs from all over the world). Houdetsi Festival is the summer festival which is running since 2010 attracting a large audience of over 20.000 people each year, with over 100 musicians performing in venues around the small village.
I first met Ross when i travelled to Crete, to participate in the first Ney seminar, (taught by the man that is my teacher ever-since: Ömer Erdoğdular) organized back in 2003 in Houdetsi the small village in Crete where Labyrinth and the Museum of musical instruments resides, hosting Ross’s personal collection of instruments, gathered from his various journeys throughout the world. Since then not a summer went by, that i didn’t come back to Crete to learn new, until then un-imagined, musical “languages” and ways of perceiving music.