(Nisyros, Greece) – On Thursday, August 18, 2016 a total of 15 musicians spent 10 1/2 hours playing inside the Stefanos Crater in Nisyros, Greece. They started their performance at dusk and used the unique setting of the volcano and the surrounding landscape to inspire their improvisational performance. This setting doesn’t usually get a lot of visitors aside from scientists and vulcanologists who want to study the unique geographical feature. There are some dangerous areas within the caldera where sulfur and other gases spit out from within the earth’s crust. Some tourists flock here as well in order to witness its unique geography and haunting landscape.
However, people flocked to the crater for a different reason last Thursday. Organized by an arts organization in Athens called six d.o.g.s and also by the Onassis Cultural Center, people gathered with the musicians at dusk in order to listen to the performance. The concert, which is being dubbed, “634 Minutes Inside a Volcano” was a unique experience for not only the musicians, but also the spectators. All the musicians came from different backgrounds, such as jazz, classical, electronic, and even rock. They had instruments such as the electric guitar, piano, clarinet, and even traditional Mediterranean instruments like the oud and kanonaki. The musicians were spaced apart inside the crater to take up as much space in the crater as possible.
Konstantinos Dagritzikos, the event’s artistic director, said that, “I wanted it to be such a raw and primitive experience that no documentation can capture it. It’s completely unique, basically the closest you can get to the center of the earth.And if you realize where you are, that around those walls lava erupted 20,000 years ago and this whole island was created, it’s just mind-blowing.Our whole lives are just a click.I like to play with time and challenge. That’s why I like to challenge people to actually think about what they’re experiencing.”
Musicians were particularly inspired by the setting of the volcano and the solitude that the night brought. They also said that the setting was especially inspiring when the full moon rose over the crater.