On this concert, Roger Willemsen wanders along the tracks of Marco Polo and presents music by the peoples living on the Silk Route: classical Chinese music, Uzbek songs, Indian melodies, music from the Persian court, Byzantine melos, mediaeval music from Venice. One of our musical companions is the oud player Kyriakos Kalaitzidis.
Kyriakos Kalaitzidis Vocals, Kyriakos Petras Violin, Drossos Koutsokostas Vocals, Petros Papageorgiou Defi, Alkis Zopoglou Kanun
Kiya Tabassian Setar, Ziya Tabassian Daf
Part 3: On the Tracks of Marco Polo
What would we hear today had Marco Polo recorded the sounds and music he encountered on his legendary journeys? Inspired by reports from the famous Venetian about his travels through the countries of the Spice and Silk Route, a splendid mosaic of musical traditions will be revealed on this concert evening: classical Chinese music, Uzbek songs, Indian melodies, music from the Persian court, Byzantine melos, mediaeval music from Venice. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, virtuoso oud player and artistic director and founding member of the award-winning Greek ensemble En Chordais, who also trained as a musicologist specialising in Byzantine music, has gathered musicians from Italy, Greece, Iran, China and Mongolia to musically trace one of the most eventful epochs in history.
Kalaitzidis very quickly transformed his initial question to a creative approach: “What if Marco Polo had been a composer or at least a musician himself?” Instead of manoeuvring down the tightrope of Marco Polo’s hypothetical musical memories, he decided to go one step further, and composed Marco Polo’s musical journeys himself. What you will hear is an impressive musical encounter between the globalised 21st century and the sound landscapes of Marco Polo’s Middle Ages – on traditional instruments like the oud, kanun, setar, tobshur and pipa, which shape an almost unchanged musical environment through the present day.