(c) Manolis Mathioudakis

Kelly Thoma     
Lyra with Sympathetic Strings - Contemporary Modal Music 

kelly thoma

      (c) Giannis Karnikis

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 has been studying the lyra with Ross Daly since 1995 and soon after started travelling with him and his group, “Labyrinth” to perform in some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the world.  She has participated in many projects with musicians from various different traditions of the world. 

As a member of “Labyrinth” and the Labyrinth Musical Workshop she has had the chance to meet and play with many renowned musicians such as the Trio Chemirani, Ömer Erdoğdular, Derya Türkan , Zohar Fresco, Efrén López, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Dhruba Ghosh, Ballake Sissoko, Erdal Erzincan, Mehmet Erenler, Yurdal Tokcan, Mayu Shviro, Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz and many more, which resulted in a unique sound and a personal style on the lyra as well as a creative approach to traditional music.She participates in most of Ross Daly’s projects and since 2008 she is a member of Tokso Folk String Quartet with Anne Hytta, Eleonore Billy and Sigrun Eng exploring and creating music inspired -amongst others- by nordic traditions.
With Ross Daly she has performed in Carnegie Hall, Theatre de la Ville, Queen Elizabeth Hall, San Francisco WMF, Rainforest WMF, Womadelaide, Rudolstadt and many other important venues and festivals around the world.
She has released three albums of her own compositions Anamkhara (2009), 7Fish (2014) and “As Τhe Winds Die Down” (2018) and has graduated from the English Literature department of the Athens University as well as from the”Rallou Manou” Dance School.


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).


...upcoming concerts :


May 1-15 Tokso Quartet, FRANCE

May 3 Tokso, Brittany, FRANCE

May 4 Tokso, Vincennes fete Europe2024, FRANCE

May 10 w/ Eleonore Billy, Pauline Lerval and Jean le Floc'h @ Douarnenez, St Helene Chapel, FRANCE

May 19 Ross Daly Trio with Kelly Thoma and Zoi Papadantonaki, Antivaro theatre, Rethymno, Crete, GREECE


June 4-16 Labyrinth Ontario, CANADA


July 21, at Labyrinth Musical Workshop with Yasamin Shahhosseini, Houdetsi, Crete, GREECE


27 Erotokritos , Siteia, Crete, GREECE
28 Erotokritos , Siteia, Crete, GREECE


September 9-14 Ensemble Workshop with Eleonore Billy and Kelly Thoma, Labyrinth, Houdetsi, Crete, GREECE

September 19-23 Duet with Efrén López, PORTUGAL

Read her interview at "The Goddess of the Hunt"

 Links :