(c) Manolis Mathioudakis

Kelly Thoma     
Lyra with Sympathetic Strings - Contemporary Modal Music 

Kelly Thoma was born in Piraeus in 1978. Since 1995, she has been studying the lyra with Ross Daly and three years later  started travelling with him and his group, “Labyrinth”, participating in concerts in Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S. She has taken part in many projects with musicians from various different traditions from other countries.

Being a member of "Labyrinth" and Labyrinth Musical Workshop she has  had the chance to meet and play with many important musicians such as the Trio Chemirani, Omer Erdogdular, Derya Turkan, Zohar Fresco, Efren Lopez, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Dhruba Ghosh, Ballake Sissoko, Erdal Erzincan, Mehmet Erenler,Yurdal Tokcan,Mayu Shviro, Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz and many more. She participates in many of Ross Daly's projects : Ross Daly Quartet, Seyir, Iris, White Dragon (...) as well as in Tokso Folk String Quartet, (with Anne Hytta, Eleonore Billy and Sigrun Eng) and has performed in Carnegie Hall, Theatre de la Ville, Queen Elizabeth Hall, San Francisco WMF, Rainforest WMF, Womadelaide, Rudolstadt and many important venues and festivals around the world.

She has  graduated from the English Literature department of the Athens University as well as from the ”Rallou Manou” Dance School.

She has released three albums of her own compositions Anamkhara (2009),  7Fish (2014) and "As Τhe Winds Die Down" (2018).


The term "contemporary modal music" has been created by Ross Daly and describes the sum total of contemporary compositions created today by musicians working within various modal traditions. This music is the continuation of the procedure of modal composing through a very free perspective and is not at all connected with the goal of "preserving traditions". It is the contemporary expression of the beauty of modality (phrase-orientated non-harmonic music which often employs non-tempered intervals).


Kelly's lyras are made by Stelios Petrakis and Leonidas Spanos.

The design of this type of lyra was created by Ross Daly in 1991. The first one was constructed in Athens by Nikos Bras. This lyra has three playing strings (A-D-G) and 12 to 22 sympathetic strings.

kelly thoma
kelly thoma


...upcoming concerts :

May 11, LUNAR @ KAG Kalamitsi Arts Group, Chania, GREECE
23/5/19 - Glens Falls, NY @ Folklife Center at Crandall Library - 7 PM 
24/5/19 - Bellows Falls, VT @ Stone Church Arts - 7:30 PM 
25/5/19 - Nashua, NH @ Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar - 8 PM (w/ John Hughes) 
26/5/19 - Portland, ME @ St. Lawrence Center for the Arts - 7 PM (w/ Zapion) 
28/5/19 - Cambridge, MA @ Club Passim - 8PM (w/ Aya and Tano Collective) 
30/5/19 - Sheffield, MA @ Race Brook Lodge Barnspace - 7 PM (w/ Maria Manousakis) 
31/5/19 - Brandon, VT @ Brandon Music - 7:30 PM 

June 15,16 LUNAR @ Roes Theatre, Gazi, Athens, GREECE
June 19, SEYIR (w/ Ross Daly, Yurdal Tokcan, Goksel Baktagir, Zohar Fresco) @ Istanbul Festival, TURKEY
June 30, Ross Daly Quintet (w/Vangelis Karipis, Giorgis Manolakis, Pavlos Spyropoulos) @ Theatro Anatolikis Tafrou, Chania, Crete, GREECE

July 4-7, @Forde Festival Ross Daly Quintet (w/Bijan Chemirani, Giorgis Manolakis, Pavlos Spyropoulos), Forde, NORWAY

August 4, Kelly Thoma with Mitos Orchestra @ Pili Vitouri, Heraklion, Crete, GREECE

September 2-7,  seminar @ Labyrinth Musical Workshop , Houdetsi, Crete, GREECE
September 11-16, TOKSO Quartet, FRANCE

Read her interview at "The Goddess of the Hunt"

 Links :