SABIR was the lingua franca spoken in the Mediterranean ports during the medieval times, a language based on Catalan, Greek and Arab elements among others. It was born like a kind of natural progression due to the socialising of the merchants for whom the sea had become their home; people from many different cultures who were shaping their need to be understood by means of this new born language.
SABIR gives us the image of the two furthest pillars in the Mediterranean sea: on the one part we have Greece, cradle of the Western civilisation, and on the other shore the Iberian land. Two places that define the ends of the sea shared by these two lands through which, from the ancient times, sailed the ships of merchants, pirates, romantic travellers and all kinds of adventurers. These people had turned sea shore settlements into culturally rich villages and were participating in this exchange of experiences and ways of understanding and living with other lands.
In a similar way the three members of the Greek-Spanish group SABIR include into their repertoire traditional pieces from Mediterranean countries, as well as others which are original compositions but still strongly influenced by the traditional music of the Balkans, Persia, Greece, Flamenco or Western Medieval music.
In a concert of SABIR ancient and oriental modes are merged with asymmetric rhythms and improvisations performed with instruments such as the Indian tabla, the hurdy-gurdy (mediaeval bowed string instrument), flamenco guitar, the santoor (Persian psaltery), saz (Turkish lute) or the zarb (Persian percussion instrument).
SPYROS KANIARIS (Flamenco Guitar , Black Sea Lyra, Kamancheh)
He has studied classical guitar in Athens and Great Britain and has attended seminars with John Williams and David Russell among others as well as Early Music with Jordi Savall, Nigel North, Rolf Lislevand, Lucy Robinson and Robert Spencer.
He also had classes on jazz and improvisation with Dylan Fowler and Indian music with Shankar Lal and Sazed Ul Alam.
He has given numerous guitar recitals and has appeared in various halls and festivals in Greece and Great Britain. Along with performing he has also composed theatre music ("Ifigenia en Tauris", for the Royal Welsh College of Drama 1995) and chamber music for the Aristoksenos quartet. In Athens he founded the group Flat o Thrat, presenting balkanic-flamenco fusion in various festivals in Greece.
EFRÉN LÓPEZ (Oud, Baglama, Divan Saz, Rubab, Cretan Lauto, Lavta, Kanoun, Santoor, Tanpura, Daf)
Founder, composer and orchestrator of the group L’Ham de Foc along with the singer Mara Aranda.
As a session musician he has recorded in more than forty projects: Early Music (Capella de Ministrers, Estampie, Oni Wytars, Oc, Maria Laffitte, Aman Aman), Folk (L’Ham de Foc, Malagüero, Cendraires, Luigi Cinque, La Beniterrània, El Cau del Llop...) He has been giving less emphasis on the guitar in order to focus on the performance practice mostly on double string instruments of the Mediterranean sea, as well as Mediaeval music instruments. With these he has made works for publicity, documentary programmes, short movies, poetry recitals, marionette theatre, street theatre, courses...He has been the artistic producer for various groups and singer-songwriters.
He has studied hurdy-gurdy in master-classes with Pascal Lefeuvre, Maurizzio Martinotti and Nigel Eaton. North Indian music with Krishna Mohann Batt and Ajoy Chakrabakti, sitar with Sazed Ul Alam, rubab and Afghan music with Daud Khan and Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz, oud with Yurdal Tokcan, Necati Çelik and Kostas Papagioannis, and saz with the Irish musician based in Crete (Greece), Ross Daly and the Turkish masters Erol Parlak, Mehmet Erenler and Baris Bal. Currently he is collaborating with the early music group Capella de Ministrers, with which he has played in concerts in Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Egypt, Croatia, Portugal and has recorded six CD's of Medieval and Renaissance music.
DIEGO LÓPEZ (Tabla, Darbouka, Bendir, Zarb, Riq, Doira, Cajón, Udu, Didgeridoo)
Has begun as drummer and percussionist in various groups of rock, folk-rock and singer-songwriters and he gradually became more interested in traditional percussion. He has participated in master classes with Pedro Estevan and currently he is studying Indian tabla with Sazed Ul Alam, Jordi Rallo and Shiv Shankar.
He has participated in various recordings of various styles and he is percussionist with L’Ham de Foc, Oc, Aljub, Aman Aman...