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Autumn musical travel to Crete

I have just returned from my musical travel to East of Crete. This has not been the first one, I can not help returning back to this island.

It is so rich of great music!

Besides the local traditional there are lots of influences as the island has been a port in the middle of the Mediterranean…

With Daniel Malczyk we gave a solo and two fiddle gigs at the beautiful Terra Minoika festival, organized by our nice friends Ilias Pagiannidis and Stella Ailamaki. The venue and the full moon, windy atmosphere was magic!

We met wonderful local artists – musicians and dancers and we all hope to make some music together.

I also went to Sitia to see my friend Eleni Dretaki, a great lyra player and pedagogue. She also writes beautiful music for theatre. One of her last works is music to a play by Nikos Kazantzakis, performed all around Crete.

I have brought some of her new recordings to Prague.

We got inspired to make some compositions for the violin (hardingfele) and lyra.

Cretan music is connected with traditional dance. I really like the popular sousta dance with the elements of eroticism and courtship acted out in the dance, which is usually performed by pairs of men and women dancing opposite.

We really enjoyed jamming some European-Celtic and Balkan melodies with the local musicians trying to tune at each other:)

Every music and dancing session or happening goes in hand with excellent local cuisine.

Stuffed courgette blossom leaves, lamb suvlaki, fresh baklava or kataifi (one hour old is already not fresh!), lukumi – a sweet delight made from jelly with rose water that goes perfectly with the strong black Greek coffee.You would never spoil this coffee with milk:)

Crete is just as sweet as the local thyme honey!

Planning to go back next year!

For more pictures check on my facebook:

Pictures from festival