LyrAvlos

Reconstructed Ancient Greek musical Instruments breathe again and bring archaic sounds back to life, traveling us back to eras of innocence and harmony, when sounds like that of the lyre ruptured the crowds, when rhythms like that of the diavlos excited the people. The originality of the sound of the instruments creates a highly evocative and atmospheric sound environment.

  

LyrAvlos under its leader Panayiotis Stefos aims at reproducing Ancient Greek music in an accurate and scientifically approved way. According to the ancient Greeks, music has a divine nature as it assisted in healing both soul and body. It purified and soothed people’s souls and it inspired, encouraged and helped them relax.

THE CREATION OF LYRAVLOS

   LyrAvlos is a five member ensemble which lies emphasis on the Ancient Greek Music. It was created in 2001 by the distinguished musician Panayiotis Stefos. He approached a small group of experienced musicians who were willing to assist in materializing his ambition which was to shed light on the unknown field of ancient Greek music and to reveal the unique value of this music through a systematic scientific research.

   An important part of the group’s work is the reconstruction of ancient musical instruments based on scientific evidence and research concerning the way these instruments were played as well as the use of voice in this music. The ancient instruments manage to reveal unique, mystical sounds that convey the joy of life and motivate the artists to compose modern music thus confirming the inexhaustible wealth, the timelessness and the amazing dynamics of the Ancient Greek Music Tradition.

   

Members:

Panayiotis Stefos: ancient kitharis, lyre, avlos, syrinx, sea shells

Solis Barki: tympanon, seistra, stamna, percussion instruments, didgeridoo

Christina Siaki: varvitos, pandouris, violin

Anna Chronopoulou: mezzo-soprano

Vangelis Maniatis: baritone

PANAYIOTIS STEFOS

 

   Panayiotis Stefos received significant musical education both in Greece and abroad. He had an exceptional career as a leading Trombone player in the “Athens State Orchestra” in the “Greek National Opera” and the “Orchestra of Colors” created by Manos Hatzidakis. He has participated and worked with many musical groups and has appeared in important music festivals in the country or abroad. He has worked with the most important composers such as Adamis, Antoniou, Karakatsanis, Kouroupos, Mikroutsikos, Savvopoulos, and Hatzidakis etc. He has also written and still writes music for theatrical plays and films.

   Early on, he became fascinated by ancient Greek music and after a detailed study he moved on to the reconstruction of most of the ancient Greek instruments. He became interested in studying the way these instruments were played and received specialized training on the syrinx as a student of Sedje Hemon in Holland.

   His work and long-lasting research has enjoyed worldwide acceptance therefore he is frequently invited by art and educational institutes to present his work either in the form of a seminar or that of a concert. He combines many skills as he is the researcher, the constructor and the musician; the advantage of this unique combination is a holistic approach that guarantees scientific accuracy and artistic sensitivity in his work.

   The creation of the ensemble LyrAvlos was the culmination and crowning of all this research.

THE RECONSTRUCTION

OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

   The reconstruction of musical instruments was what Panayiotis Stefos initially focused on, this pioneering work gradually developed into a thorough, scientific study on Ancient Greek Music. He made a detailed research in museums, collected various sources of information, designed and reconstructed the ancient instruments. The aim of this attempt was not just to create musical instruments that would serve as attractive pieces for exhibition purposes but as functional musical instruments that would present the surviving ancient musical pieces in the best possible way.

   The attempt was to achieve the highest possible degree of accuracy in the reconstruction of musical instruments therefore a combined scientific study of all historical sources was required. This enabled P.Stefos to proceed in the most creative part of his work which was to reconstruct the instruments. He used the ancient technique and the original materials i.e. wood from fir tree, box-wood, reed, intestines for the strings, tortoise shells, leather, fish glue and wooden nails.

   It is worth noting that during any artistic festival as well as educational seminar the public is allowed to see and touch the instruments.  

   

   In ancient Greece music was an integral part of people’s everyday routine and due to the fact that music was a complicated form of art as well as a cultural expression, it was highly regarded and present in all private and public festivities.

   A flute player for instance would accompany the women with his music while they were kneading, the workers during harvest, the oarsmen as well as the soldiers on their way to battle. Music was closely connected with sports and athletic games not only because they included music competitions but because the music would encourage and motivate the athlete to achieve a better performance.

   According to the ancient Greeks, music was divine as it assisted in healing both soul and body. It purified and soothed people’s souls and it inspired, encouraged and helped them relax.

Programme

In the following you will find programme proposals with Ancient Greek music.

If you prefer other combinations or pieces,

please let us know,

a solution will be found easily.

The Artists' Agency is looking foreward to your contact.  

   

  1.  Πρώτο Στάσιμο από τον Ορέστη

       Ευριπίδης, 5ος αι. π. Χ - Euripides 5th century BC  ¯ mp3 (45 s, 540 KB, live)

  2.  Πυθιόνικος

       Πίνδαρος, 5ος αι. π. Χ - Pindar 5th century BC

  3.  Πρώτος Δελφικός Παιάνας

       Αθήναιος, 127 π. Χ. - Athinaios 127 BC

  4.  Επιτάφιος

       Σείκιλος, 2ος αι. μ. Χ - Sikilos 2nd century AD

  5.  Ύμνος στη Μούσα και Ύμνος στη Νέμεση

       Μεσομήδης, 2ος αι. μ. Χ. - Mesomidis 2nd century AD

  6.  Πυθικός Νόμος

       Αυτοσχεδιασμός, 5ος έως 3ο αι. π. Χ. - after 5th to 3rd century BC

  7.  Ύμνος στον ¨Ηλιο

       Μεσομήδης, 2ος αι. μ. Χ. - Mesomidis 2nd AD

  8.  Βέλος

       Ανακρέων [έζησε από 563 έως 478 π. Χ.] - Anakreon 563 - 478 BC ¯ mp3 (75 s, 889 KB, live)

  9.  Οργανικά Γυμνάσματα

       Ανώνυμος, 3ος αι. μ. Χ. - anonymous 3rd century BC

10. Πρωτοχριστιανικός ύμνος στην Αγία Τριάδα

       2ος - 3ος αι. μ. Χ. - 2nd - 3rd century AD ¯ mp3 (35 s, 443 KB, live)

       (το τελευταίο σωζόμενο με την αρχαιοελληνική γραφή)

CONCERTS

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   One main music suggestion is to present the surviving ancient Greek music pieces exclusively. Those music texts are the only authentic music heritage that has survived in a fragmentary form and unfortunately amount to only sixty-one music pieces. LyrAvlos presents a selection of those pieces emphasizing the best preserved ones.

   

   LyrAvlos has enriched its repertoire by incorporating and presenting timeless melodies and traditional songs played with the ancient musical instruments. Popular music pieces and songs such as the Smyrneika, which were songs that originated in Smyrna, a major centre in Asia Minor, acquire a different potential as they are brought to life with the ancient Greek instruments.

  

   New music compositions, which have been especially created for the reconstructed musical instruments, combine with Modern Greek poetry and produce a unique result. It is a particularly popular and attractive suggestion that enchants the general public.

  

   Very often the LyrAvlos ensemble achieves a balanced combination of the above mentioned music kinds and puts emphasis on a particular kind, depending on the occasion. The awe-inspiring music fascinates the listener and familiarizes them with the instruments. The creation of new compositions proves the potential and the timelessness of the instruments as they enchant the listener by creating a magical atmosphere with their music. Finally, the adaptation of popular well-known melodies helps the listeners to escape from any time or artistic conventions and allows them to experience the true magic and essence of music.

    

PARTICIPATION IN CEREMONIES AND ON SPECIAL EVENTS

  

LyrAvlos is an ensemble which mainly focuses on ancient Greek music and ancient Greek musical instruments. It can create, in a particularly flexible and inspired way, the musical background and provide suggestions for more specialized and demanding ceremonies. The originality of the sound of the instruments creates a highly evocative and atmospheric sound environment.

    

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

   The reconstruction of the ancient Greek musical instruments and the revival of the ancient Greek music are significantly assisting in the study of the multi-faceted Greek civilization and culture as well as Greek art. Furthermore, it enables the public to become acquainted with and achieve a better understanding of the Greek culture. Music was connected with the lifestyle and art in Ancient Greece. It enables people to approach and gain an understanding of the esthetic and the essence in Ancient Greeks’ lives and their way of thinking.

  

   These includes lecture on Ancient Greek Music, lecture on the evolution of the Greek Music from antiquity to our days, seminars on the theoretical organization and notation of the Ancient Greek Music.

    

THE PRESENTATIONS

  

   The presentation involves the musical instruments as well as transparency slides projection with pictures of ceramics and other sources that reveal the importance of music and its role in Ancient Greece. It is worth mentioning that these instruments span from a period of approximately twenty centuries (from 1700 BC to 300 AD).

PRESS

   WORLDWIDE ACKNOWLEDGED EXPERT: Due to his instruments and especially due to his knowledge in the field of Ancient Music, Panayiotis Stefos meanwhile is known worldwide. ... Today he is considered as an acknowledged expert in this field and he is invited by universities all over the world to give seminars, conferences and presentations and together with his ensemble LyrAvlos for concerts. ... Outstanding! Their audiences are always completely impressed.

from: NDR - Northern German radio and television station

 

 

LyrAvlos

PERFORMANCES / PARTICIPATIONS

IN GREECE & ABROAD

(Selection)  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

SUMMER 2001 / Theatrical play “The Bacchae” by Euripides organized by the Thessaly Theatre presented in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Direction: Vassilis Nikolaidis Leading Actor: Marios Fragoulis

NOVEMBER 2001 / Participation in the Lighting of the Olympic Flame for the Winter Olympics in SALT LAKE CITY.

FEBRUARY 2003 / Concerts and seminars are given in BOSTON UNIVERSITY USA and CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY in Montreal, Canada.

MAY 2003 / Concert in Brussels at the “Museum of Musical Instruments” and at the “Royal Museum of Art and History” organized by the Greek Ministry of Culture.

JUNE 2003 / Concert and seminar at the International Stockholm Early Music Festival. For the first time the Ancient Greek Music ensemble meets with the Renaissance and Middle Ages ensembles.

JUNE 2003/ PNYKA. Festival on the Greek Language under the auspices of the President of the Greek Republic and organized by the cultural organization “Elliniki Glossiki Klironomia” with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Culture from all European countries.

AUGUST 2003/ Concert in Montreal, Canada.

OCTOBER 2003/ MEGARON - ATHENS CONCERT HALL “Ancient Greek Music in Myths and History”. An event organized within the scope of the festivities SUNDAY MORNINGS IN MEGARON.

MARCH 2004 / Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony for the Athens Olympic Games 2004. Panayiotis Stefos, in cooperation with George Chatzimichelakis the composer of the music for the ceremony, creates the sound environment with the use of conch-shells and the priestesses brandish the seistron in the final part of the ceremony.

APRIL 2004 / Educational concerts in Greek and Swedish schools in Stockholm and Ursa. Presentation of Ancient Greek Music during the painting exhibition of works by Gianni Karydakis at the cultural club in the city of Ursa.

APRIL 2004 / Brussels. Concerts in different venues such as the European School, the Anderlecht Cathedral and the historic hall Senghor. The events were organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Cultural Institution, the Greek embassy etc.

MAY 2004 / WARSAW. Concert in the Opera House of Warsaw and the Historic Museum. The concerts were organized to celebrate the entrance of Poland in the European Union in the festival ‘Ode to Europe’ under the auspices of the Polish government, the Greek ministry of Culture and the Greek Embassy in Warsaw.

JUNE 2004 / SORBONNE, PARIS. Concert at the central, historic amphitheatre of the University of Sorbonne in order to celebrate 110 years from the revival of the Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and Dimitrios Vikellas. The event  took place under the auspices of the French ministry of culture and athletics, the French Municipality, Athens Municipality, the Greek Embassy in Paris, the president of Sorbonne Mr. Jean Robert Piget and was organized by Mr. George Archimandrites, the representative of the French-Greek Culture club ‘Delphos’.

AUGUST 2004 / Participation in the festivities for the Olympic games in the Olympic Athens on the 15-16-20 August. Concerts were given in Plaka, at the ‘Hellenic Association for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage’. 23-24-26-27-28 at the ‘Museum of Folk Musical Instruments’.

AUGUST 2004 / ZAPPEIO MEGARON ATHENS. A music composition composed by Theodoros Antoniou during the opening of the art exhibition with works from Efthimios Varlamis under the title ‘Mother Olympias – the power of love’ was presented by a small group with Ancient Greek instruments and was directed by Mr. Panayiotis Stefos.

AUGUST 2004 / VOLOS. A Multi-show ‘Argonauts’. A big production of art events for the Athens Olympics. Production: The Centre of Music Theatre of the town of Volos and ‘Athens 2004’The music was by Dimitrios Maragopoulos and the Czech Theatre Laterna Magica. Lyravlos was one of the music ensembles that participated in this big event.

SEPTEMBER 2004 / Ceremony for the Athens Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium of Athens. Panayiotis Stefos participates with his group ‘Anemos’.  

     

 

Music Short Cuts

Historical Sources

Music by Panayiotis Stefos

5th century BC

Euripides: Orest, stasimon no. 1

¯ mp3 (45 s, 540 KB, live)

   

Overture

¯ mp3 (48 s, 580 KB, live)

2nd century BC

Mesomedes: Hymn to a Muse

¯ mp3 (41 s, 508 KB, live)

6th century BC

Anakreon: Arrow

¯ mp3 (75 s, 889 KB, live)

2nd/3rd century BC

Early Christian Hymn to the Holi Trinity

¯ mp3 (35 s, 443 KB, live)

Traditional from Macedonia

Milo mou kokino (My red apple)

¯ mp3 (46 s, 573 KB, live)