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Smoke On The Waters of Kea

Ioulida or Hora in Kea

The village of Ioulida in Kea, perched on a mountain overlooking the Cavo-d Oro straits in the Aegean sea, has many surprises. One enters the town through a gate just as you would enter a castle. There are small shops on either side and a tiny square big enough to hold the tables and chairs of two little restaurants. If you walk to your left you will climb steps to one peak of the mountain and the ruins of an ancient fortress topped by a couple old mansions and a hotel that has been converted into a school. If instead of walking to your left you go right and take the narrow street that slopes up into the center of the village you will pass the archaeology museum, the bakery, a cafe and the butcher before coming to the main square. The showpiece of the square is the town hall, built in the neo-classic style and adorned with statues and ancient stones found nearby. Ioulida is an ancient city, one of four on the island and the hills are catacombed with tunnels and the houses sit upon several thousand years of history. If you turn left at the top of the square between Rolando's Cafe and the small taverna on your right known as 'Yannis', you can continue up the steps through the quiet village and come out on the other side where the stone path will lead you to the Lion of Kea, a statue from around 600 BC that is to Kea what the Parthenon is to Athens. If instead of going to your left you take a right at the square and follow the steps up you will hear the sound of sheep in the fields and children playing. Further along the sound of music, faint but somehow familiar greets your ears and you are strangely drawn to it, past old women dressed in black, a man whitewashing his steps and a couple kids kicking around a soccer ball on a rooftop that has been turned into a small playing field. As the song gets louder and more distinguishable you find yourself wondering about the setting and the music and how it all strangely fits together and somehow doesn't. This quiet village of white-washed houses in these terraced hills with the brilliant blue sea dotted with ships is the place I have chosen to do my work and the music that you hear is the focus of that work. For three months I lived on the island of Kea devoting several hours a day to the study of a composition that has baffled musicologists the world over. This website is about my study.


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