Featured in fRoots magazine’s March 2017 edition and selected amongst London’s best diaspora acts, Kalia presents contemporary music of her homeland, presenting one of the most dynamic living music traditions in the Eastern Mediterranean today. Her quartet of exceptionally talented musicians hailing from Crete and nearby Rhodes comprises of: Vassilis Chatzimakris on Cretan lyra and mandolin, Nikos Ziarkas on Cretan laouto and electric guitar, and Theodoris Ziarkas on double bass. Kalia joins them singing and playing nay, thiaboli, mandoura pipes and daoulaki.
As a singer, songwriter and song-collector, Kalia’s music is based on field-recordings gathered whilst growing up on the island, as well as original compositions and innovative arrangements of traditional material. Filtered through her travels, studies and performances with master musicians from the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, the resulting sound is a fresh alternative to the macho lyra-driven music that has dominated the island until now. In a strongly patriarchal culture and music tradition, Kalia seeks to bring to light lesser-known women’s songs, as a way of celebrating the artistic contribution of women to the diverse cultural heritage of Crete.
Located in the Southern-most part of Europe and overlooking Asia and Africa, Crete has been a crossroad of cultures, with Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and Arab occupations leaving their mark on the island. Separated from mainland Greece by the Aegean Sea, a unique music tradition evolved, rich in profound "mandinada" poetry, intricate melodies and spirited rhythms. From the energetic and legendary "pentozalis" danced to silence the cries of baby Zeus, to the rebel "rizitika" songs sung acapella in the foothills of the White Mountains, to the mournful cry of women’s laments, the music of Crete expresses the full spectrum of the joy and sadness of being.
The venue is a deliciously sumptuous sofa-filled home-crafted cinema like none other, housed in a beautiful building oozing the history both of the neighbourhood and of costume creation. Even the loos are like none other in London!! Uniquely again, a ticket entitles you to free tea/coffee. Stronger stuff is available at the riverside Mayflower Pub, only a few cobble stones away. Sands Films is an inspiringly intimate place to hear fabulous music.