Vulture Bones, Hissing Dragons & Divine Bliss

Barnaby Brown pipes (Paleolithic, Sumerian, Ancient Greek & Sardinian), Hebridean vocals

Kalia Lyraki Middle Eastern vocals, nay, lute, frame drum, Cretan pipes

Guided by their Greek and Scottish heritage, Kalia Lyraki and Barnaby Brown take audiences on an adventure from deep history through Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece to the modern day. The music they conjure out of the world’s oldest instruments and notation is thrilling and compelling. Highlights include a vulture radius bone 40,000 years old and a hymn to Apollo from Delphi, 127 BC: the oldest, lengthiest and 

best-preserved notation of a Greek song. The results lift the lid on the relationship between making music and being human. Fasten your seat belts for an infusion of cutting-edge scholarship and blockbuster entertainment: this duo produced music for the latest release from Assassin’s Creed, Origins, set in ancient Egypt.

Laudatory comments on Barnaby Brown:

“Barnaby Brown was the most riveting, using vulture bones and Sardinian cane pipes to play stirring Celtic drones. At no point did the quality drop below world class, and all of it without a lick of electricity.”The Guardian, review of Wysing Polyphonic festival, Cambridge, July 2016.

“Spell-binding,” Financial Times.

“Hauntingly beautiful,”Gramophone.

“Amazingly compelling,” The Times.

“Quite exceptional on every level… magical,” Early Music Today

 

Laudatory comments on Kalia Lyraki:

“One of the UK’s leading world music singers,” Wallee McDonald.

“A sweet voice, full of Arabic intervals,” The Guardian.   

“A frenzied dance on the flute,” Financial Times.

 

www.barnabybrown.info | www.kaliamusic.com

http://flutopedia.com/mesopotamian_flutes.htm | www.doublepipes.info

Slideshow

If projector and screen can be provided, we would bring a slideshow with images of ancient finds: iconography, instruments and musical notation. If a local slideshow operator can rehearse with us at the venue and prepare in advance from recordings and cue sheets, our slideshow would include simultaneous translations of all lyrics, white on black, in small chunks like opera surtitles.

 

1-HOUR PROGRAMME

Deep History:   Vulture bone pipe found at Hohle Fels (c. 38,000 BC)

Vulture bone pipe found at Isturitz (c. 25,000 BC)

 

Mesopotamia: Nay found at Ur (c. 2450 BC)

Silver double-pipe found at Ur (c. 2450 BC)

Hurrian hymn to Nikkal: notation on clay tablet (c. 1400 BC)

 

Ancient Greece: Brother’s poem by Sappho (c. 600 BC)

Aulos found at Pydna (c. 500 BC), Apollo and the Python

Delphic Paean by Athénaios Athenaíou (c. 128 BC)

Modern Greece: Pete mou Poulia, lament by Kalia Lyraki

Kondilies and Pendozalis, traditional Cretan piping

Nanourisma, traditional Greek lullaby

Scotland & Sardinia: Hiotrotro, traditional Hebridean vocables for piping

Triple-pipe represented in sculpture from Sardinia (c. 500 BC)
and Scotland (c. 900 AD)

 

Ancient Turkey: The Song of Seikilos (c. 150 AD)

1-HOUR PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

 

Deep History:   Vulture bone pipe found at Hohle Fels (c. 38,000 BC)

Vulture bone pipe found at Isturitz (c. 25,000 BC)

 

Mesopotamia: Nay found at Ur (c. 2450 BC)

Silver double-pipe found at Ur (c. 2450 BC)

Hurrian hymn to Nikkal: notation on clay tablet (c. 1400 BC)

 

Ancient Greece: Aulos found at Pydna (c. 500 BC), Apollo and the Python

Delphic Paean by Athénaios Athenaíou (c. 128 BC)

The Song of Seikilos (c. 150 AD)

 

Modern Greece: Kondilies and Pendozalis, traditional Cretan piping

Nanourisma, traditional Greek lullaby

Scotland & Sardinia: Chehotrao hodro, traditional Hebridean mouth music

Triple-pipe represented in sculpture from Sardinia (c. 500 BC)
and Scotland (c. 900 AD)

Great Highland bagpipe (c. 1680 AD), traditional jigs and reels

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Barnaby Brown creates new music by exploring distant musical cultures. He abandoned the Scottish bagpipe when he was thirteen to pursue the orchestral flute. Ten years later he saw the light, returned to the classical music of the bagpipes and settled in 17th-century Scotland. He was in the middle of studying Gaelic when an ancestor of the bagpipe took him back a thousand years and transplanted him to Sardinia. The guitarist Gianluca Dessì found him playing the launeddas by a Bronze Age fort and was coaxing him back to the 21st century when some archaeologists showed him how many musical instruments were locked up in museums, in silence.

Between 2006 and 2012, his artistic collaborations included smelting Japanese, Indian and Scottish traditions for the Edinburgh Festivals commission Yatra, composing Scottish Bali with Gamelan Naga Mas, developing undergraduate modules at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and designing the European Music Archaeology Project. His CD In Praise of Saint Columba (2014) was described on BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as ‘doing for the music of the ancient Celtic church what Gothic Voices did for Hildegard of Bingen’. In 2015, Sir James MacMillan dedicated Noli Pater to him, a work for choir, organ and triple-pipe commissioned by St Albans International Organ Festival. Since 2016, he has reintroduced the most popular instrument of the ancient world – the aulos – to audiences in Sweden, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre. His latest CD, Spell-weaving: Ancient music from the Highlands of Scotland (European Music Archaeology Project Vol. 1) is a companion to his PhD research at the University of Cambridge, ‘The craft of a Scottish Gaelic piper’.

Kalia Lyraki is a singer, songwriter and nay (Arabic flute) player, performing music of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. She grew up in Greece surrounded by the music of her native island, Crete. She currently lives in London where she studied Ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Ethnochoreology at the University of Roehampton. She learnt nay during her travels and studied several vocal traditions, including Hungarian (Marta Sebestyen), Iraqi (Anwar Abu Dragh) and Afghan (Hussein Arman). She also studied lavta (Greek/Turkish lute) with Periklis Papapetropoulos and maqam theory and composition with Ross Daly.

Kalia’s main project is her band which she leads, performing her own songs and arrangements of Cretan music with Vassilis Chatzimakris (lyra), Nikos Ziarkas (laouto) and Theodoris Ziarkas (double-bass). Past collaborations include projects with Syriana, Xaos, Natacha Atlas, Kharabat Afghan Ensemble, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Zohar Fresco, Efren Lopez, Vasilis Sarikis and Kit Downs. She has recorded albums with Xaos, ‘Syriana’ (Real World Records), Amira Kheir, Paprika and Soufian Saihi. Kalia does session work recording music for films, documentaries and games, and can be heard on: ‘Ben Huur’ (ABC), ‘Live at Momo’s’ (Africa Channel), ‘Never Let Go’ (Latitude Productions), ‘Sappho: Love and Life on Lesvos’ (Maya Vision/BBC) and the games ‘Total War: Rome’ (SEGA) and ‘Assassin’s Creed Origins’.

Beyond the stage and recording studio, Kalia delivers workshops at educational establishments, which have included the Royal College of Music, University of East Anglia, SOAS, Barbican, V&A and the British Museum. She has also done extensive work for charities such as Syria Relief, Health Poverty Action, Breathe Arts Health Research and Music in Hospitals. Kalia is passionate about encouraging and supporting women in the arts and celebrating women’s music traditions.

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