Christos Barbas Ney Ensemble

The ney is a reed flute from the Middle East traditionally present in the music of the Arab world, in Turkey and Iran. It is normally played accompanying the voice along with string and percussion instruments in small or large ensembles. Ensembles of instruments of the same family, such as string quartets, brass bands, or percussion groups are very common in different musical cultures. However a group exclusively made up of neys is fairly uncommon and brings a new perspective that opens a path towards creation and experimentation.

Although the ney is traditionally played in mostly in monophonic heterophonic contexts, the Ney Ensemble is opening as well to other paths with the use of polyphony, making the group sounding at time like a single amplified flute, and other times like a choir of voices.

The unique sound of the ney flute and its diverse textures and soundscapes, intermix in new compositions and improvisations with the ‘taksim’ (traditional improvisation based on modes) and a variety of modern techniques borrowed from contemporary music and minimalism. The quartet’s repertoire includes songs from areas as diverse as Ottoman classical or Turkish Sufi music, Greek tradition, the Renaissance repertoire in works by Josquin Desprez.