Many years before what we call "World Music" appeared on the scene, certain individuals had already understood the enormous value and vast variety of the world's various musical traditions and had dedicated their lives to their study. One such person is Ross Daly.
Although of Irish descent, Ross Daly does not really fit into any particular ethnic stereotype given that his life has been spend in many different parts of the world and his home for the last 35 years is the island of Crete in Greece.
Ross Daly, at a very early age, discovered that music was, in his own words, "the language of my dialogue with that which I perceive to be sacred".
This dialogue eventually led him to the great modal traditions of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent where he finally found the musical archetypes that he had been searching for all his life.
In these traditions he encountered music which was not merely a vehicle of self-expression, but which was able to take one beyond what one normally perceived to be the boundaries of one's self into other trans-personal realms of experience.
by Chris Williams
The group opened the proceedings with an original arrangement of an Azerbaijan folk song led by Daly on the rabab. This lute, which is rather like the Indian sarod, has a deep, melancholy voice exactly suited to the yearning mode of this song.
In the Labyrinth of Ross Daly's music
By Eleni Kallimopoulou
Sitting down to write a brief presentation on Ross Daly, my friend and teacher, I wonder which aspects of his work might be meaningfully foregrounded in a context such as that of WOMEX.
A musical experience with the time machine built up by Ross Daly and his workshop "Labyrinth". One of the most active and creative musicians of the world initiates us to his music which connects us with the natural current of ancient traditional music and the most sophisticated expectations of the contemporary listeners.
In this group special emphasis is laid on the use of two bowed instruments together (sometimes two lyras, sometimes lyra and tarhu) played by Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma.