In a setting that rivals that of Burning Man or Coachella, on a symbolic night of the August full moon on a remote Aegean island inside the crater of an active volcano, 15 mostly Greek musicians met— many for the first time— to jam for 634 minutes.
The event, titled 634 Minutes Inside a Volcano, was organized by well-known Athens DJ and musical mastermind Konstantinos Dagritzikos— best known for his coffee-art-music space six d.o.g.s in Monastiraki in collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Center.
The musicians came from mixed backgrounds— but were mostly Greek, with backgrounds in jazz, avant-garde, electronic and classical.
Instruments included the electric guitar, piano, clarinet and traditional eastern Middle Eastern instruments like the oud and the kanonaki.
Musicians were spaced equally in a large circle, right smack in the middle of the crater and were asked to play their own instruments, inspired only by their location and the natural surroundings.
Guests (and musicians) were advised not to spend more than 60 minutes at a time inside the crater, creating a night of movement and activity. The Stefanos crater is one of the largest active volcanic craters in the world and inhaling the sulfur fumes could carry health risks.
The performance began on Thursday, August 18 at 7:58 p.m. and finished Friday morning at 6:32 a.m.
About 2,000 people — more than double the permanent population of Nisyros — strolled in and out throughout the magical full moon night.
New York Times music critic Charly Wilder, who attended the event, called the end result: “an immersive layering of experimental, otherworldly soundscapes, evocative one minute of Sun Ra, the next of Aphex Twin or Autechre. Glitch and drone melded with desert-blown free jazz. Mournful loops of electrified cello overlaid throbbing synthesizer, the music constantly spinning apart and reassembling into a whole.”
Photos from Instagram #634minutes hashtag