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MP3 Leigh Cline - Galatia

A fusion of Celtic and Black Sea Pontic music with fiddle, kemenche, Scottish border pipes, guitar and percussion.

2 MP3 Songs in this album (9:42) !
Related styles: WORLD: Celtic, WORLD: Greek Folk

GALATIA - A Revisiting Of Two Cultures

Celtic Music Meets Black Sea/Caucasian Pontic Greek Music

Separated by time and now distance, "GALATIA" is a coming together of two sets of musicians whose distant ancestors (Galatian Celts and Black Sea Greeks) once were neighbours.

To quote Alain Danielou of the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies, (in liner notes for a UNESCO Recording): “The structure of these (Pontic) songs is quite different from those we meet in ancient Greek music or Turkish music as we know them. They seem to belong to an archaic culture related to the Celtic family.”

Leigh Cline, a guitarist who has played both Celtic and Pontic music for many years, has brought together both Celtic & Pontic musicians in a CD single recording called GALATIA that combines similar melodic and rhythmic structures from both cultures. It features slow and fast Jigs and Pontic/Caucasian dances including the Tik in 5/8 and Tash/Lezginka in 6/8.

GALATIA is written and produced by Leigh Cline.
GALATIA (Long Version) starts with a bagpipe introduction of MacCrimmon''s "Lament for Mary MacLeod.”
GALATIA is a radio release CD single

The Players

Leigh Cline - Guitar, saz, tambura, zils, synthesizers
Mihalis Kaliontzidis - Black Sea upright fiddles – kemane, kemenche and zil kemenche
Mark Kelso - Bodhran, drums, darabukka
Sandy MacIntyre - Fiddle
David Woodhead - Bass
Bob Worrall - Scottish border pipes

Recorded and Mixed at Canterbury Music, Toronto, Canada
Jeremy Darby, Engineer

Mastered at João Carvalho Mastering, Toronto, Canada
João Carvalho, Engineer


In approximately 275 BC an army of Celts – to become known to us as the Galatians – crossed from Greece into Anatolia, present day Turkey. Eventually settling in the central part of the country, with Ankara as their capital, they established themselves as a force either battling against or allied with the peoples of the area, until they were finally subdued by the Romans.

On the Northern border of Galatia was the Black Sea Greek Kingdom of Pontos whose inhabitants considered themselves the inheritors of Jason and the Argonauts. The Pontic Kingdom was adjacent on the East to the ancient Caucasian Kingdom of Colchis, made famous with Medea and the Golden Fleece.

A Celtic presence was noted in the area for centuries. In the Fourth Century AD St. Jerome on his travels to Anatolia noted that a Celtic language was still spoken there. There is mention of the province of Galatia as late as the 8th century AD. In Istanbul the famous Galata Tower, although rebuilt by the Genoese in 1348 AD, is a much older building rumoured to have been financed by a local Galatian Celtic businessman.

Although the Galatians have long disappeared as a visible group their historical contact with the Pontic Greeks is possibly why Pontic and Celtic music seem to have a common ancestor. Although separated by time and distance both musics share a “feel” and some similar melodic and rhythmic structures

This song is a modern recreation of the connection between these two archaic cultures.

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