Fun fact for the non-musicians out there: not all woodwinds are made from wood. The oldest known instruments in the world fall into this category: flutes made from mammoth bone which date back over 40,000 years! Today, of course, we rely on more on plastic and metal (think saxophone). But why are we filling your mind with these useless if fascinating facts? Well, this coming weekend sees the island’s biggest annual celebration of all things woodwind at the Windcraft Music Fest…
Taking place on August 10 and 11, and organised by the non-profit cultural association Windcraft Loud, the annual Windcraft Music Fest is now in its sixth year: a triumph of modern musicality in the ancient village of Katydata. The get-together sees bands from all corners of Cyprus descending on the picturesque village of Katydata each summer, for an event which animates this sleepy hamlet.
Hidden in the beautiful Solea valley, at the foothills of the Troodos mountain and overlooking the sea of Morphou, Katydata is a delightfully rural community, a place of “beautiful traditional houses and endless olive groves,” that, according to organisers, “fosters its binds with the past and maintains a collective year-round spirit.”
Of course, the spirit is strongest in summer when the festival takes over, with its “concerts, workshops, screenings, theatrical plays for children, and other activities which invite each and every visitor to act, explore, exchange experiences and enjoy the wonderful process of artistic creation.
“As the winds once more take a starring role in contemporary music creation, we draw inspiration from world music traditions, pursuing the conviction that art is not simply found onstage but also in every corner of our lives,” organisers reveal. With an international line-up of bands who promise to deliver “moments of magic and spontaneous body movement,” – eek! – we can look forward to “music, dance and visual arts in every corner of the village.”
Now, while the parallel events are certainly fascinating (and include an info desk about the flora and fauna of Troodos, a documentary-making workshop, various screenings, a puppet show, telescopic observation of the night sky, a theatre performance of The Little Prince, and an exploration game around the village), it’s the concerts which are the big draw. This year, organisers are putting the focus on ‘street art’ – outdoor performances which celebrate the village and its surrounds. Taking place in the square, the gardens, and even in the streets, they’re an invitation to enjoy the magic of music in the open air.
We begin on Saturday with the Windcraft Band performing in the main square at 7pm, followed by a street performance from Batukinio at 7.45, and then the stylings of Larva (featuring Italian saxophonist Federico Pascucci) at just past eight in the village gardens. At nine, we repair to the local inn for both the Odysseas Toumazou Trio and Macumba, before ending the evening back among the greenery with the Ayios Lavrentios Brass Band. On Sunday evening, we’ve got Cyprus Beatbox in the streets from 6.30pm, the Rialto Residency Ensemble in the Square an hour later, and the Nicolas Tryphonos Quintet at the inn at eight. We’re switching to the gardens at 9pm for The Khat, back at the inn again at ten for ’Ndiaz, and end proceedings once more in the gardens, with Bunta Planedo at 11pm.
It’s a wonderful way to spend a weekend (free camping facilities are available) and this is one festival that’s growing year on year. It may have begun back in 2013 with a couple of concerts and a workshop, but it’s since grown into the island’s premier celebration of all things woodwind. We’ll make no bones about it: this year’s Windcraft Fest is going to be a massive event. One might even say, mammoth!
Windcraft Music Fest
August 10 and 11 in the village of Katydata. For more information, including bookings and a full programme of events, visit www.windcraftmusicfest.com or the Facebook page ‘Windcraft Music Fest’