Instrument Makers and cases
All of the members of “Labyrinth” owe a special debt of gratitude to the instrument-makers who supply us with some of the finest quality instruments which are available. Here are some of the details about some of the most important instrument-makers for us which will hopefully be useful to other musicians in search of instruments:

STELIOS PETRAKIS: CRETAN LYRA, LAOUTO, SAZ:  Stelios Petrakis is a multi-faceted personality. He is a regular member of “Labyrinth” as a musician, he has also released an excellent CD of his own music (I dikoi mou filoi, ), and he is a fine craftsman of musical instruments. Most of the Cretan lyras used by Ross Daly and the other members of “Labyrinth” are made by him, and many other of the best contemporary lyra players prefer his lyras. He also makes laoutos (Cretan, mainland Greek style, as well as lavta) and saz. The lyra he specializes in making is the type developed by Ross Daly which employs 3 main playing strings and 18 sympathetic strings. This type of lyra is rapidly becoming more popular as it gives the musician many new possibilities and a much richer sound than that afforded by other lyra types. The lyras of this type made by Stelios are definitely the best available. Stelios’ laoutos and sazes are also highly appreciated by many of today's best players. The Cretan laouto is often a heavy and rather cumbersome instrument which presents unnecessary difficulty to the player. Stelios has found ways to lighten its construction and balance it better, without however compromising its characteristic sound. This results in an instrument with a good clear sound and which responds quickly and efficiently to the nuances of the musician’s playing. Stelios also constructs  sazes. One particular style of saz which he makes is an older type of saz with 3 single strings, played with the fingers rather than with a pick, which resembles instruments played by the Turkish virtuoso Erkan Ogur. This type of saz was rarely found in previous decades but its popularity is increasing due to its very clear characteristic sound. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

DIMITRIS RAPAKOUSIOS: OUD, KEMENCE (lyra of Constantinople), BOULGARI, LAVTA, EGYPTIAN RABABA: Dimitris Rapakousios is unquestionably one of the most talented instrument-makers in Greece today. He is particularly well-known for his ouds as well as for the Cretan saz-like instrument known as boulgari of which he is certainly the best maker available. The oud is a very difficult instrument to successfully construct and the level of competition is currently very high for good quality ouds as there are many excellent makers worldwide. Dimitris, despite his relatively young age, is definitely in the top class of oud makers worldwide and his instruments are used by some of the instrument’s best players. He has greatly benefited from the generous guidance of the great Turkish oud-maker Faruk Turunc and has in recent years begun constructing Arabic ouds with the guidance and counseling of top-class players such as Haig Yazidjian. The boulgari made by Dimitris is a particularly interesting instrument. It is a type of saz that was used on Crete in the past as well as in certain regions of Turkey. It is smaller than the usual baglama saz and has a very distinctive and sweet sound. Dimitris’ unique work on the boulgari is destined to play a decisive role in the revival of this worthy instrument. Contact:

NIKOS BRAS: VIOLIN, CRETAN LYRA, BOULGARI, ANCIENT GREEK INSTRUMENTS: Nikos Bras, amongst other things, has made two of Ross Daly’s most important instruments. The first lyra with 3 playing strings and 18 sypathetic strings which was designed by Ross Daly and has served as a model for this instrument type was made by Nikos Bras and Ross Daly himself in 1990. He has also made the excellent boulgari which Ross Daly has used on most of his recordings. Nikos Bras is primarily a violin-maker whose work has received numerous awards in Greece and abroad, but he also does excellent work constructing folk instruments. In recent years he has dedicated much of his time and energy to the revival and reconstruction of ancient Greek instruments and is considered to be one of the foremost pioneers of this very difficult subject.

1_smallLEONIDAS SPANOS: LYRA, TZOURAS, LAOUTO, ETC.: Leonidas Spanos is a very unique instrument-maker. He is based on the island of Cyprus where he is well-known as a sculptor, even though he seems in recent years to devote almost all of his time to instrument making. Leonidas almost never makes two instruments the same and he is continuously experimenting with new designs and ideas.


2_smallHis instruments are of a very high quality and it is absolutely essential for anyone interested to visit his workshop in the village of Dali on Cyprus and try all of them. Each one has a very individual sound of its own and the challenge here is for the musician to find which instrument best suits his individual needs and desires. This process takes time however, as Leonidas has a huge number of instruments in his workshop at any given time and they’re all worth trying.

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PETER BIFFIN: TARHU Peter Biffin is based in the town of Armidale in Australia and he has developed a totally new type of instrument known as the Tarhu. He has a very extensive website of his own which can best inform anyone interested about this unique creation of his. Ross Daly plays the lyra-tarhu as well as the large standard tarhu and has the very highest opinion of these two instruments. He also makes a kemantche version of the tarhu which enormously impressed the Iranian virtuoso of the instrument Kayhan Kalhor, who immediately ordered two of them after playing one. It is highly recommended that bowed string instrument players visit his website and study carefully the information contained therein. A life-changing experience!

AKDENIZ SAZ EVI: SAZ The Akdeniz family of instrument-makers in Istanbul, Turkey has a brilliant history which extends over many decades. Ragip Akdeniz began this workshop which is continued by his sons Mustafa and Refat today. His other son Cetin is one of Turkey’s foremost virtuosos of the saz. The Akdeniz family specialize in the construction of the saz, Turkey’s main folk instrument. The quality of their instruments remains unparalleled today and most of Turkey’s best players use their instruments. Ross Daly has several sazes made by Ragip Akdeniz himself which he values very highly, as well as an extraordinary laouto which was made in 1985 on special order.

FARUK TURUNC: OUD In the world of the Turkish oud, Faruk Turunc needs no introduction. He is universally regarded as Turkey’s foremost oud-maker and he definitely deserves this recognition. Faruk originally studied physics and his approach to instrument- making is a fine balance between that of the traditional craftsman and that of a scientist.

YANNIS SEREMETIS: CASES FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS No matter how good one’s instrument might be, without a good case, it is imprisoned in one’s house. Yannis is the person who has given a home to all of our poor homeless instruments, and due to his excellent work, they have survived countless encounters with barbaric baggage-handlers in most of the world’s major airports. Yannis makes what is usually a mass-produced item with the mentality of a traditional craftsman and takes exceptional care over each case he makes. In fact, each one is effectively custom made, and all of this for very reasonable prices.


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If music is an endless ocean of possibilities, this collection is but 7 one. Eight new compositions by Kelly Thoma rising from the depths of the ocean of music. Influenced by various modal traditions, Kelly and eleven exceptional musi...
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(09/26/14) The Other Side

After a long pause from recording, Ross Daly presents us with his new, self-released album, entitled “The other side” (August 2014). Featuring some of his closest collaborators of the past 10 years, the album is comprised of nine original composi...
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(11/03/09) Ross Daly Seminar at Labyrinth

Ross Daly Music Group Seminar at Labyrinth Musical Workshop December 3-8, 2009 register at tel: 00302810741027   ...
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