Kairos Collective | Erato
Michiel van der Meulen’s acclaimed third album is dedicated to the source of music. Music originates from its composer’s mind. But how did it get there in the first place? Why does it come out the way it does? How does one decide that a piece is finished? Why does it sometimes feel like pieces are writing themselves?
Tracks / total playing time 1:07:27
- Crimson / Nihâvend saz semâî
- Blackcap / Albanian folk melody
- Kilim / Janino
- Meltem / Hüseynî karşılama
- Erato / Acem-Bûselik medhal
- Muhayyer taksîm / Improvisation on the kanun
- Sapor / Muhayyer peşrev
- Manastırka / Poustséno / Pušteno
- Phoenix / Kürdî devr-i hindî
- Şivenüma taksîm / Improvisation on the violin
- Erebos / Şivenüma peşrev
- The Rose and the Nightingale / Phrygian phantasy
- Romanza / Acem Aşîrân saz semâî
- Aj Sarajevo / Nihâvend yürük semâî / Bojerka
Harris Lambrakis – ney [1, 2, 7-9, 11-13]
Giorgos Papaioannou – violin [1, 2, 7, 9, 10-13]
Nikos Papaioannou – cello [1, 2, 7, 9, 11-13]
Manolis Kanakakis – kanun [1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11-13]
Taxiarchis Georgoulis – oud [1, 2, 7, 9, 11-13]
Marijia Katsouna – bendir [1, 2, 7, 11, 13], tombak 
Michiel van der Meulen – tambura [2-4, 8], double bass 
Michalis Kouloumis – violin [3, 4, 8]
Tracks 1, 3-5, 7-9 and 11-14 were composed by Michiel van der Meulen. Track 2 is an arrangement of an Albanian folk melody. Tracks 6 and 10 are improvisations. Track 9 was recorded by Nikos Kollias at Antart Studios (Athens, Greece) on June 22, 2020; 3, 4 and 8 by Udo Pannekeet at Wedgeview Studios (Woerdense Verlaat, Netherlands) on November 21, 2020; 14 in the same studio on July 21, 2021; 5 by Vangelis Apostolou at Studio Vasmaris (Heraklion, Greece) on August 27, 2021; and 1, 2, 7, the finale of 9, and 10-13 by Nikos Kollias at Antart Studios (Athens, Greece) on May 22-24, 2022. A few corrective overdubs were recorded by Cengiz Arslanpay at his home studio (Utrecht, Netherlands) on June 26, 2022, and Nikos Paraoulakis at Studio K65 (Athens, Greece) on July 16, 2022. The album was mixed and mastered by Vangelis Apostolou at Studio Vasmaris between May 26 and November 2, 2022.
Many thanks are due to: Ross Daly and Labyrinth Musical Workshop for guidance and inspiration • The musicians and studio staff for the great time we spent and the great job they did • Evgenios Voulgaris for inspiring the arrangement of Romanza and his advice on the essence of a big sound • Sergios Voulgaris for advice on devr-i kebîr rhythmic patterns for bendir • Cengiz Arslanpay for explaining metaphors in Ottoman poetry • Pavlos Spyropoulos for lending us his double bass • Remco Busink for modifying our tambura • Sven van der Gijp for extending Kairos Collective to the Netherlands • The Theocharopoulou-Orfanidis and Papaioannou families for hospitality during the Greek recording sessions and friendship in general • My family and inlaws for their generous support of the project • Dominy Clements for proofreading the liner notes • Martine van der Meulen for love and understanding – this album is, as always and more than ever, for you.
TouMilou #6 / EAN 8714835139188
© 2022 M.J. van der Meulen/TouMilou
Reviews and mentions
(Use the contact form to request a review copy of the digital or physical album)
- Dani Heyvaert, Rootstime.be (July 29, 2023; in Dutch): “A magnificent listening experience of over one hour, and an encounter with a way of making music that probably differs from what you are used to, but, believe me, you are bound to fall in love with!”
- Erato remained on the Balkan World Music Chart of the first quarter of 2023.
- The third episode of Folkit Mediterranee (a world music program on the Concertzender radio station) was dedicated to the works of Michiel van der Meulen, featuring tracks from Erato and preceding albums Európe and Pîrî Reis (April 28, 2023, in Dutch).
- Marius Roeting, New Folk Sounds (February 7, 2023; in Dutch): “There are no vocals to be heard, but the richness of the music is accomplished by the sounds and performance of the collective. Another grand product by a Dutch genius, played by (Greek) class musicians.”
- In Februari 2023, Mundofonias (an internationally renowned world music program) nominated Erato as one of three favorite albums of the month.
- Erato rose to the Transglobal World Music Chart (a global Top40 of world music releases) in February 2023.
- Erato made it to the Balkan World Music Chart of the fourth quarter of 2022.
- Lex Bohlmeijer, Passaggio Late Night (NPO Radio 4; January 10, 2023; in Dutch): “A fantastic Hollandse Nieuwe!, this is a truly remarkable adventure” (see below).
- Roger Holdsworth, Global Village (PBS-FM, Melbourne, Australia; January 1, 2023): “…a lovely new album from the Kairos Collective. The beautiful modal music is composed by Dutch bassist Michiel van der Meulen.”
- Kutay Derin Kuğay, Music of the World İstanbul (Açık Radyo; December 31, 2022; in Turkish): “…remarkable albums such as Erato by Kairos Collective […]. All of them are brilliant new releases.”
- Ross Daly, Labyrinth Musical Workshop (December 14, 2023): “This collection of compositions has my very very highest recommendation as one of the finest works that I have heard in many years.”
- Jan Willem Broek, De Subjectivisten (November 28, 2022; in Dutch): “Where does this music come from? There is no clear-cut answer, Utrecht would be too simple, but it resulted in a fantastic, unparalleled World album.”
- Holly Moors, Moors Magazine (November 13, 2022; in Dutch): “…it is more than just music, you can almost smell the centuries that inspired it. This third album is again one to cherish.”
Music Mosaic concerts / Houdetsi, Crete
Erato was presented in Labyrinth Musical Workshop’s Music Mosaic concert series in Houdetsi, Crete, on August 4, 2023.
Musicians: Christos Barbas (ney), Giorgos Papaioannou (violin), Nikos Papaioannou (cello), Taxiarchis Georgoulis (oud), Michiel van der Meulen (tambura), Pavlos Spyropoulos (bass) and Sergios Voulgaris (kudüm, bendir, daire), with a special guest appearance of Ross Daly (tarhu) and Kelly Thoma (lyra).
Hollandse Nieuwe! / Featured release series
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Album art (1000 x 1000 px jpg)
About the artwork
Sir Edward John Poynter (Paris, 20 March 1836 – London, 26 July 1919), was an English painter and draughtsman with a long and distinguished career that earned him a knighthood and an honorary Cambridge degree in 1898, and a baronetcy in 1902. His ‘Erato, Muse of Poetry’ (1870, watercolour on paper, 47 x 33 cm) is more chaste and delicate than the generally voluptuous, exalted, Baroque to Romantic-era depictions. Apart from the fact that she is winged, Poynter’s Erato is a mythologically faithful represention of the muse of love poetry, which I chose because of the beauty of the eyes.
The artwork of the scores book is from Nederlandsche Vogelen (‘Dutch Birds’) by Cornelis Nozeman and Christiaan Sepp, the monumental, beautifully illustrated, five-part first Dutch avifauna, which appeared between 1770 and 1829.