(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, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Dhruba Ghosh, Ballake Sissoko, Erdal Erzincan, Mehmet Erenler,Yurdal Tokcan, 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 two albums of her own compositions Anamkhara (2009) and 7Fish (2014)


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 :

January 11, 12 LUNAR @ Roes Theatre, Athens, GREECE
January 13 LUNAR in Halkida, GREECE
January 21, "Ama kopasoun oi kairoi" new album release presentation @Fygokentros Cafe, Heraklion, Crete, GREECE
February 11-16, seminar @ Labyrinth Musical Workshop , Houdetsi, Crete, 
March 21, w/Ross Daly, Peppe Frana,Francesco Savoretti,  ITALY
March 28, LUNAR , Stockholm, SWEDEN
April 22-28, seminar @Labyrinth Sicily , ITALY
May 22-29, New England tour w/Mike Harrist, Tev Stevig, Ross Daly, USA
June 3-8, Labyrinth Toronto, CANADA
June 23, SEYIR (w/ Ross Daly, Yurdal Tokcan, Goksel Baktagir, Zohar Fresco) @ Istanbul Festival, TURKEY
July 3-7, @Forde Festival Ross Daly Quintet (w/Zohar Fresco, Giorgis Manolakis, Pavlos Spyropoulos), Forde, NORWAY

Read her interview at "The Goddess of the Hunt"

 Links :