Music, dance, and performed poetry characterize the Greek way of celebrating, carried from antiquity on a Dionysian current still palpable across society today. Many ancient Greek scholars believed music to be a gift from the heavens, a mathematical expression of something cosmic, a form of therapy, a philosophical subject with a moral role in society.
These pioneers of musicology saw their work as a study into the soul, an attempt to calculate the mathematics behind the emotional responses to organized sounds.
Much like food, music is a conduit of culture, a vehicle for stories told through time, and a playground for creative expression. Just as the Nōema team of chefs draw upon their own experiences with food to bring new ideas into the kitchen, the music program in the Avli (the Greek for courtyard) encourages instrumentalists, sound artists, vocalists, DJs, and miscellaneous talents from around the world to learn from one another. Looking behind the music, as with food, helps one to find appreciation in unexpected places outside of the genres and styles that personal taste keeps us gravitating towards. You will hear a meeting place of cultural influences, whispers of old stories reimagined in new ways.
Musicians from all over the world continue to bring sound from every corner — from bamboo flutes that carry the melodies of Hindustani classical music to Brazilian whistles that mimic the birdsongs of the Amazon. Step inside a place where ancient instruments can be heard alongside new sounds made with emerging technologies, all with something to say. In the Avli and on our SoundCloud, one hears a microcosmic echo of this boundless musical heritage.
A pear-shaped body of hollowed-out wood and a neck to stretch out strings: the lute family of instruments includes the Turkish bağlama, the Indian sitar, and the Greek bouzouki, which all make regular appearances in the Avli. Pictured here is a tetrachordo bouzouki, which came over with Greek refugees from Asia Minor in the early 1900s. This intertwining of traditional Greek and Levantine sounds has shaped Greece’s popular music landscape since.