La Ponta-Greek Bagpipe Exhibition Workshop

La Ponta, a 13th century tower, located in Akrotiri Santorini.The tower hosts a tsabouna - Greek folk wind instrument, exhibition and workshop

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The tower is located on the top of the Castle of Akrotiri , that is to say in the centre of what was once a fortified settlement. Today, few fragments remain of the Castle, while the tower which dominates the hilltop exists in a much altered state due to the ravages of time and a devestating earthquake which occured in 1956.

During the middle ages, Akrotiri constituted just one of the five castles [kastelia] on the island and was named La Ponta, Latin for "the peak". During the Ottoman period the tower was called Goulas from the Turkish "kule" which means "Tower".

After the fall of Constantinople in 1204 to the crusaders, the sovereigns distributed the provinces of the empire. The Cyclades were awarded to the Venetians, and in 1207 Markos Sanudo founded the Duchy of the Archipelago.

It is speculated that the tower was erected in the beginning of 13th century by the Barozzis who controlled the island from 1207 to 1335 (with the exception of the period 1261-1296 when the island was recovered by the Byzantine emperor Michail Palaiologo). In 1335, the tower reverted to the sovereignty of the duchy of the Aegean, under the possession of the Duke of Naxos Nikolaos Sanudo who also occupied Santorini.

In 1336 N. Sanudo granted the building to the family Gozzadini, which had originated from Bologna. The fact that Gozzadini hailed from Bologna and not from Venice, which was at war with the Ottoman empire, in addition to the castle's fortifications allowed the family to maintain possession of the castle for a long period, even while the rest of the island fell under the Turks in 1566.

Finally Akrotiri did pass into the hands of the Ottomans in 1617 and remained in their possession until 1822, when it finally passed into the hands of the Greeks.

Today, a proposal for the restoration of the existing part of the tower as well as for the reconstruction of the second floor as it was before the earthquake of 1956 is under development.

In our workshop we construct the tsabouna, the Greek folk wind instrument of the bagpipe family.

The methodology of constructing the instrument follows various traditional techniques, with a strong emphasis on sound quality, stability of pitch and aesthetic appearance.

In addition we construct single blade reed flutes, various double flutes and the traditional cycladic percussion instrument, the doubaki, in various sizes.

The exhibition encompasses tsabounas constructed by most of the recognized makers of the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Crete. Also the exhibition includes vintage instruments from Santorini.

The emphasis of this collection is the Aegean style of the tsabouna and moreover the technical differences of each region.

This one of a kind collection displays the various traditional techniques used by the makers of the Aegean.

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  • WOMEX 2012


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