Greek, Balkan, Armenian, Turkish & Kurdish songs
Kostantis Kourmadias & Laura Shannon
Saz, percussion and vocals
This concert presents ancient and beautiful folk music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, honouring the musical and cultural common ground shared by Christians and Muslims of East and West. The Saz, a Byzantine long-necked lute, is tuned to Eastern (non-tempered) modes, to create a deeply meditative atmosphere and allow rich emotional expression. Love songs from these traditions can be read as mystic poems expressing the soul's deep longing for union with the divine. The taxim, an improvisation free from rhythm and melody, symbolises the soul's journey away from familiar structures to find this true fulfillment, and its homecoming to wholeness in earth and spirit, body and soul, communion with no separation.
Laura and Kostantis give concerts throughout Greece, Europe, and the UK. They have recently been awarded a grant from the Blessing Foundation for the profoundly healing quality of their music.