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Cretan masters of the lyra come to Mariposa

  • Kelly Thoma and Ross Daly perform at the Mariposa Museum on March 28. COURTESY PHOTO


Thursday, March 16, 2017 7:27AM

Ross Daly is a master of the Mediterranean lyra (a bowed, multi-stringed fiddle) and of modal music, music based on tones rather than western scales that reflects influences from the region stretching from northwest Africa to Western China. Daly and fellow lyra virtuoso Kelly Thoma will share this musical magic with an intimate audience at the Mariposa Museum on March 28. They will be accompanied by Michael Harrist (contrabass/percussion) and Tev Stevig (tanbur and plucked strings).

The concert will begin at 7 p.m.

"Music doesn’t understand national borders," Daly says. "It grows, it travels, and it resonates. Traditions, sounds, styles all interconnect." 

Daly has spent his life exploring the possibilities and connections in modal music, recording and performing all over the globe. He is also founder of Labyrinth, an annual musical workshop for modal musicians in the village of Houdetsi on the island of Crete. Of Irish descent, Daly has in Houdetsi since 1975. 

Daly and Thoma (who are married) regularly tour the U.S. Daly appeared at Carnegie Hall in 2015. He has created 38 albums, and all the the last are available for free on his Web site. 

Both musicians play contemporary modal music on the Cretan Lyra, Tarhu, Afghan rubab, saz and more.  The music -- much of it composed by Daly -- comes from the Cretan/Turkish traditions, but also touch upon Persian, Balkan, Azeri, Indian traditions and many more. Threads of North Africa mingle with the bright, varied colors of India. Swooping melodies from the Balkans are tempered by Asian delicacy, and the whole has a transcendent quality. 

The 2017 tour is sponsored by Makam New York, Denmark Arts Center.

Tickets are $17 in advance, $13 in advance for Mariposa members/students $20/$15 at the door. For reservations, please call 603-924-4555.

The Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center is dedicated to fostering peace and understanding across cultural boundaries through compelling exhibits, performances, and educational partnerships. Located at 26 Main Street in Peterborough, the Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.

The Mariposa's featured exhibit is The Kopanang Universe Canticle, 31 stunning textile panels depicting the creation of the Earth from the Big Bang to the unfolding of plants, animals, humans, languages, as envisioned by women from the Kopanang Community in South Africa. From many different cultural and language groups the women (all with HIV/AIDS and most now deceased) came together in 2002 to create the Canticle for World AIDS Day. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.