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Kytherian Arts/Craft

Culture > Kytherian Arts/Craft > Golden Oldies bring new harmonies to Kythera

Culture > Kytherian Arts/Craft

submitted by Rowan Parkes on 19.10.2004

Golden Oldies bring new harmonies to Kythera

After two years of planning and preparation, the wild week of ELLSO (East London Late Starter’s Orchestra)’s visit to the island finally took place. A band of truly wonderful people and unique musicians invaded the calm (and surprisingly sunny) October of Kythera, and for the next few days we all ran around to a fantastic soundtrack of classical, renaissance and modern orchestral music, as the “golden oldies” and their devoted shepherds and conductors trekked up and down dale, giving heartfelt performances wherever they went. From open rehearsals in Chora and Potamos, to madrigal singing in the depths of Mylopotamos valley, to improvisation in harmony with the waterfall, to evening shows in the new amphitheatre recently constructed in Kapsali (to nights of revelling in Potamos, Chora and Karavas, but we wont mention that!), the hills were alive with the sound of music. It all climaxed in an amazing performance in Chora cultural centre in company with some of the local children and the local brass band, a performance that really knocked the socks off any of us who were expecting your average amateurs (some of these musicians have only been playing a few months!) this was the real thing people, and for once the island turned out quite a big audience, a real all round success!!! (watch this space on the local TV, they should be showing it within the next few years!).

Perhaps one of the best points apart from the wonderful people and their unique music, was the piece specially composed for ELLSO by our own Panagiotis Leftheris, in accompaniment with the local band and the children. Once again he managed to impress us with another beautiful piece and the brass band with their usual gusto and feeling, and our kids with new found passion, all bought the piece to perfection, to the harmony of ELLSO string instruments.

Another wonderful sight was the local children receiving their first lesson on ELLSO violins and playing along with the orchestra on the last night. It was so wonderful for the children to experience music at such close quarters, and of course the best thing about it was how much they obviously enjoyed it, very moving indeed! There has been talk of tutors and instruments (any donations of money or quality instuments would be VERY greatly accepted) arriving for the children some time next year, do we see Kythera becoming a musical centre in a few years.

Tears flowed freely on the day the lovely ELLSO band wound their merry way (or should we say “bounced”, knowing Kythera airplanes!) back to London, or rather, not so merry, and I think most of them will be looking for houses by next spring! But they will be fondly remembered, and by all accounts back very soon! So till then, thank you ELLSO for so much pleasure and generosity, and we hope to see you all back here in the years to come!

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