Ross Daly

Many years before what we call “world music” appeared on the scene, certain individuals had already understood the enormous value and vast variety of the world’s various musical traditions. One such person is Ross Daly. Although of Irish descent, he does not really fit into any particular ethnic stereotype given that his life has been spent in many different parts of the world and his home for more than 35 years has been the island of Crete in Greece. Daly, at a very early age, discovered that music was, in his own words, “the language of my dialogue with that which I perceive to be sacred.” This dialogue eventually led him to the great modal traditions of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, where he finally found the musical archetypes that he had been searching for all his life. In these traditions, he encountered music that was not merely a vehicle of self-expression, but music that was able to take one beyond what was normally perceived to be the boundaries of one’s self into other trans-personal realms of experience. After many years of intensive training in a variety of musical traditions, Daly turned his attention largely to composition, drawing heavily on all of the knowledge that he acquired during his long apprenticeships. Today, he has released more than 35 albums of his own compositions as well as of his own arrangements of traditional melodies.

Modal Composition Workshop

Ross Daly, the artistic director and founder of the Musical Workshop Labyrinth, will teach a seminar focusing on modal composition. Ross Daly is himself recognized as the foremost composers and performers in this genre and it is his expressed desire to see more young people involved in the study of modal musical traditions becoming active in the realm of composition. Modal music, even though it accounts for about half of the entire world’s musical genres and it is a subject of vast dimensions with unlimited possibilities for creative activity, is still often associated in people’s minds with “tradition” and the more historical aspect of music. In this workshop Ross Daly aims to dispel this notion and help the student to perceive and utilize the enormous creative possibilities offered by modal music in a way suitable to his own artistic needs and inclinations. The ability of reading musical scores is not strictly required but it would surely facilitate the didactics.