Who are we

Christos Barbas (artistic director)
Efrén López (artistic director)
Anna Pont (general manager)
Estel·la Broto (production assistant)
Jordi Alsina (communication and press)
Laura Freire (accountant)
Eleni Lomvardou (graphic designer)
Yiota Vergopoulou (web designer)

Christos Barbas (artistic director)

Playing music and different kinds of flutes is one of the most inspiring things I remember myself doing, since I was 7. Having studied classical music in conservatory and musicology department, it was not till 2003, in the first edition of Labyrinth seminars in Crete / Greece that I saw an amazing musical world opened for me, both new and old, through the study of musics and instruments from Turkey, Bulgaria, India and many others. Since then I became “addicted” to Labyrinth seminars, came back every year, sometimes twice a year, and eventually worked as a volunteer, seminars organiser and later, teacher. I’ve been travelling to Spain and Catalunya regularly since 2005, performing and teaching, most of the times invited by Efrén López. So when I moved to Catalunya / Cardedeu on 2015 on a permanent base, it felt very natural to bring with me this musical endeavour and start the initiative of Labyrinth Catalunya here, together with the “indigenous” Anna Pont. Every year the project has grown and I feel very lucky and happy to form part of this group together with Anna & Laura Freire, Estella Broto, Jordi Alsina & Efrén López.

Efrén López (artistic director)

I decided that I would dedicate my whole life to music when I was nine, once I woke up from a faint, after having blown my trumpet – the instrument with which I started to play music – way too loud. Very soon I understood that, in fact, what mostly gave me pleasure in a musical experience was not simply playing an instrument, but sharing, playing with other people and connecting with them through music. It did not take long time until I decided to switch to guitar, an instrument with which I identified much more, adding later on other string instruments.

Many years later, Ross Daly became my first teacher in a traditional instrument. From him I took Turkish bağlama classes during my stay in the island of Crete on 2000. Upon knowing his “then still future” project to create the Labyrinth center in Houdetsi, Crete, I was constantly waiting for the moment when it would finally open its doors, having the intuition that it would be a place where I would have much to learn. That’s how it happened eventually and since the beginning of the school’s activities I have not missed any year, initially as a student, and since 2006 as a teacher.

This genius idea of Labyrinth, that perhaps at first seemed could seem so utopian, has been firmly established in Crete, its place of origin, after overcoming many obstacles, and for a few years it has begun to spread itself in many places around the globe: Canada, Italy, Catalonia, with several “branches” more to come.

Despite having the same name, the idea has always been that each Labyrinth center should have its own personality and autonomy, with unique features that would adapt the original spirit to the specificity of each place.

It is of great pleasure for me to form, in some way, part of this big family. And also as part of our small family of Labyrinth Catalunya, I would like to invite everyone to support, value as it deserves and help grow this unique project.

Anna Pont (general manager)

Since I was a child I loved music, dance and I felt admiration and curiosity for many and diverse areas of knowledge. I owe this love and this curiosity in many ways to the open-mindness of the teachers I had in the school I was fortunate to attend in my childhood and until the age of 14th years old.

In my youth I participated in a band as the lead guitar-player and singer, but my training was mainly in humanistic areas: I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities in 1996, studied Philosophy from 1997 to 1999 and I graduated in Music Education in 2005. It was not, however, until I was 25 years old that I began formal studies in music (piano, singing, viola, musical language and harmony mainly), first at “Escola de Música del Palau” in Barcelona and then at the “Conservatori Municipal de Música Josep Maria Ruera”  in Granollers, where I got a scholarship to study, despite my “advanced “age compared to that of my fellow students.  Since then, music has always accompanied me in a very present way and has been a priority in my life. In this path of knowledge and musical discovery, an important turning point was the discovery of Crete and its Labyrinth in 2011. The contact with the “Labyrinth Musical Workshop” directed by Ross Daly opened up to me dimensions and musical universes unexplored by me until then. And I’m still exploring them nowadays. One of the ways I explore them is through the “Yayli Tanbur”, the main instrument I play at this moment. This discovery was also the reason why, in 2016, we started together with Christos Barbas the project “Labyrinth Catalunya” in Cardedeu, my town, as a result of this passion and admiration for these musical universes, and also as a result of a willingness to share them and to make them available to more and more people every time.

Estel·la Broto (production assistant)

I started playing the flute when I was 12 years old, and since then I have gone through schools, conservatories, ESMUC (where I got the degree of pedagogy of music).I have worked as a flute teacher in many private and municipal music schools and I have also been an academic coordinator in the Municipal School of Roda de Ter.At the same time, I have been playing in different musical projects (Limbo and Barcelona Ethnic Band are the two longest ones).

I have always been very interested in the spaces for exchange and learning with jam sessions, festivals, etc, where knowledge is generated from a significantly different experience, where space is left for improvisation, for the unexpected.I met Labyrinth Catalunya in 2016, when I went one day to one of the concerts of the students, with my ney that i had been playing for a few months.The following year I tried to study in one of the seminars and I also volunteered; This made me realize that what I really liked was to help in the organization, and that is how last year I started to be part of the staff, first coordinating the team of volunteers and in this edition forming part of the organization during all the year handling various tasks (web, communication, accommodation, volunteering…).

Jordi Alsina (communication and press)

From a young age I had a very close relationship with writing, with which I always try to maintain a constant dialogue. As a historian and anthropologist, writing has been my close companion in my intellectual and vital adventures, whether putting down some stories of my native Argentona or describing a journey, a research or the airs of modern Greece, my second (and actual) home.

Music has helped me to deepen my contact with this part of the world and its people, and in this process of learning, Labyrinth of Crete has been a place frequent stops since 2009, when I participated as a student in its seminars.

Being part of the organizing team of Labyrinth Catalunya and having helped this initiative to arrive and consolidate in Cardedeu, fills me with satisfaction.

Laura Freire (accountant)

Labyrinth represents for me the beginning of a new musical path, since I attended a violin seminar in Houdetsi (Crete) in the summer of 2015. Coming from a classical education in conservatories of Galicia and Asturias, learning modal music made me rethink the music as I knew it. In this new path I am exploring the possibilities of improvisation and I have incorporated the lavta (a lute from Istanbul) and singing.

I have the honor of being part of the organizational team of Labyrinth Catalunya and thus actively contribute to the creation of this learning context so rich in musical and human experience.

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