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Learning the modal music traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean

giannis koutis 2

The music of the Eastern Mediterranean region is rich, complex and a melting pot of cultures and traditions. An upcoming workshop aims to share the secrets behind these sounds. On Saturday, Labyrinth Cyprus Musical Workshop and Paraplevros Productions present the workshop Makam & Taksim: Introduction to Modal Music traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean, led by musician Giannis Koutis.

The free workshop in Greek takes place as part of the activities for the European music project Awakening Sleeping Instruments in Europe and will be hosted at the Windcraft Music Centre in Nicosia. Saturday will be a day full of knowledge and sharing lasting from 10am to 6pm, with a break between 1pm and 3pm.

Koutis has studied extensively the art of the Oud, has a Diploma in Byzantine Music & Classical Guitar and an MA in Ottoman Music. He has performed in several venues and festivals around the world both as a soloist but also as a member of ensembles, presenting among others his personal compositions. He has collaborated with world-renowned musicians such as Kudsi Erguner (Unesco Artist for Peace), Omar Farouk Tekbilek, Ross Daly and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.

With only a few days to go until the workshop, Koutis says: “This introductory presentation/workshop will focus on the Makam, the Modal Music of the Eastern Mediterranean traditions, and on the Taksim, the practice of free but rule-based improvisation, a core characteristic of this music genre. The musical language of the Makam is founded on melodic development, both on compositional and improvisational levels.

“Our material will be a small sample of the enormous classical repertoire of the Ottoman period; a repertoire with foundations in the pre-Ottoman period.”

Participants are welcome from any musical background, be they musicians or music enthusiasts, since the goal of this presentation is mostly to introduce the basic idea of the Makam, while in addition to showcase the mentality and elements which can be used to create a meaningful and structured improvisation in the given context. Participants are encouraged to bring their own musical instruments for the practical part of the workshop.


Makam & Taksim: Introduction to Modal Music traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean

Workshop led by musician Giannis Koutis. Co-organised by Labyrinth Cyprus Musical Workshop and Paraplevros Productions. November 20. Windcraft Music Centre, Nicosia. 10am-6pm. Free. In Greek. Bookings are necessary. Tel: 7000-7102

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