Beyond Mode - intertwining music by women from past to present, from Asia to Europe

A concert of memory and hope.
24 January 2019
SOAS, University of London
Ottoman tapestry: a unique world of voice, oud, bowed tanbur and double-bass interwoven with Indian tabla.

The programme combines music by a female musician at the Ottoman court in 18th-century Istanbul, Dilhayat Kalfa, and newly-written instrumental pieces, songs and extemporisations for this unique quartet. At the heart of the programme is Sing no Sad Songs for Me, the composition that launched Beyond Mode, exploring the poetry of Christina Rossetti, daughter of Italian exiles in 19th-century London. Sing no Sad Songs for Me expresses the mysteriousness and poignancy of parting in death, while bringing together in music the spaces of Europe and Asia all too often held apart.

Rachel Beckles Willson is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and researcher, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. Her work is dedicated to seeking out and amplifying unheard voices - often those of women, often those of people on-the-move. 

Evgenios Voulgaris is one of Europe’s leading multi-instrumentalists in traditional repertoires of the Mediterranean, and a leading exponent of the yayli tanbur, the bowed long-necked lute of Turkey. Ciro Montanari has emerged as one of the most significant European tabla players and is currently based in Barcelona, while Kostas Tsaroukis is increasingly in demand as oud-player and double-bassist in Greece and internationally, while working mainly Athens. Beyond Mode emerged from musical encounters at Labyrinth Musical Workshops, Crete.

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