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Music for Shepherds and Sultans

by Michalis Kouloumis, Tristan Driessens, Miriam Encinas

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Farewell I 06:51
Kozan 02:46
Patrunino 03:46
Köyde Sabah 06:09
Farewell II 06:08
Voskos 05:10


It was during a residence on the San Giorgio Maggiore Island of Venice, back in May 2013, that Cypriot violinist Michalis Kouloumis and Belgian oud player Tristan Driessens first played together. They have been working side by side ever since, increasingly exploring their common interest in modal music of the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. With the recording of Music for Shepherds and Sultans, the duet embarks on what is just the beginning of a closer partnership, with Catalan multi-instrumentalist Miriam Encinas joining them on frame drums. The album organically fluctuates from original compositions in classical Ottoman style to anonymous rural dances of Cyprus. With this choice of repertoire and especially with their way of interpreting it, Michalis Kouloumis, Tristan Driessens and Miriam Encinas bridge a gap between classical and folk music. Compositions such as Isfahan Saz Semaisi or Köyde Sabah somehow reflect how classical music has always been deeply inspired by folk music legacies. Originally rooted in daily life’s rituals, folk traditions draw their expressiveness from a cyclical journey of constant transmission and renewal, which defines their actual legitimacy trough time and space.


released May 6, 2023

Recorded 23 – 25 November 2022
Homerecords, Studio Sphères Sonores, Liège
Engineer: Jean-François Hustin
Assistant: Antoine Litt
Edited by Miriam Encinas Laffitte
Mixed and mastered by Jean-François Hustin
Cover photo: Manuel Baud-Bovy
Inside photo: Aristea Tzanou
Group photo: Laura Soriano
Cover design: Jan-Sebastiaan De Geyter


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