Tombs of the Kings

In Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, overlooking the sea, is a world heritage site, the Tombs of the Kings, a set of underground chambers hewn into the rock. Professor Chill was given permission to record in this stone burial site, if you listen really carefully you might hear the lapping of waves or calling of gulls.

Tombs of the Kings 1

What you will definitely hear is a world leading expert in Ancient Greek music, Stefan Hagel, recorded playing the aulos in one of the tombs. He’s playing a lament, the sort of thing that might have accompanied an ancient burial ceremony. Imagine taking two oboes, putting them both in your mouth at once, and circular breathing so you never have to stop playing, breathing in through your nose, while blowing out of your mouth. That’s the Aulos, if you’ve ever seen a picture of a horny god such as Pan, it’s the two pipes he’s usually playing. This trickster is an archetypal type who tries to keep you in a permanently liminal state, neither here nor there, not conscious but not asleep, away with the fairies you might say. That trance-like vibe of Dionysian rites is the focus here, from a curtain of rhythms that deliberately pull at your sense of time, taking you away to that special place where time stands still.


You can hear Stefan Hagel playing the autos on the video below.

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