- XENOS play the music of the Gypsies of Macedonia, driven by subtle complex and captivating rhythms, woven through with seductive sax solos in mysterious and evocative scales.
XENOS play for festivals large and small, country tours, schools, dance events and dance groups. Mixed weddings a speciality.
Xenos were based in Zurich for 6 years, touring Europe and playing at festivals such as St Chartier and Nantes in France, the Leipzig Tanzhaus Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Greece and Romania. Then for 6 years in Melbourne where they perform for the Greek, Macedonian and Rom, as well as the wider Australian community.They have now returned to the beautiful city of Hobart in Tasmania.
Anne Hildyard - saxophone, gaida, zurna, vocals
Rob Bester - electric bass, tulum, davul, strings
Phillip Griffin - laouto, electric guitar, bass
we are lucky to have a choice of wonderful drummers play with us; Fuat Sazimanoski, Tunji Beier, Stephanos Eleftheriadis, Greg Sheehan, Will Eager.
and sometimes - Lee Hildyard - defi, vocals, Sophie Chapman - accordion
XENOS - liquid gold saxophone, zurna takes you to forgotten realms, songs of love and death in Rom.
XENOS steals your heart and feet - the music of the Balkan Roma
XENOS play for St. Johns and Aristotelis Greek dance groups, for Musica Viva in Schools, played at WOMAD in Reading UK and Adelaide, ETNIA in Portugal, and Australian festivals Woodford, The National Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Victor Harbour Folk Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival. Antipodes, Fasolatha, Estia and Dimitra festivals.
What they say about XENOS
"From the insanely catchy chorus of the first number, they're on to a winner. It's pretty upbeat, fun stuff - I'm sure they'd be great live. Anne Hildyard seems to be master of many obscure instruments, and the whole band are wonderfully relaxed and together as they romp through a wide variety of songs and tunes." Geoff Burton (fRoots, UK)
This is quite splendid, energetic and powerful... More please!" Kim Burton (Songlines, UK) read the whole review here.
"sonority and dream. I am hearing this..music...as a desperate man. It is fantastic." Nixon, Brazil
"That CD really capture the essence of GYPSY MUSIC in Macedonia. A must for all Gypsy music afficionados." Claude (Canada)
"better than 'N Sync" Shandra & Armando (USA)
Xenos "Tutti frutti"
My first reaction when I saw this cd was a big smile. This couldn't be a Dutch group because they would never call themselves Xenos. This because this is a big chain of shops in Holland. The only thing this shop has in common with this music group Xenos is that their both a bit exotic. Although the group is based in Australia, they bring tunes from the Balkan countries. Some known songs like Tutti frutti but most of the tunes are relatively unknown. The vocals are done by the twin sisters Anne and Lee and are of a surprisingly high level. It's like I'm listening to an authentic Romanian or Macedonian band. They are backed by a great band including Gaida, percussion, saxophone, electric guitar and many other instruments. When I listen to a song like Sadila ganka I love the sound of the Gaida which seems to have a conversation with the vocals of Lee Hildyard. Xenos managed to record a convincing cd with strong vocals and energetic music. I still do not believe that their from Australia. The vocals are just to authentic and the musicians seem to know what their doing. The best Balkan cd from outside the Balkan I can think of! Eelco Schilder
"Xenos play the music of the Macedonian Gipsies;... Xenos' music is innovative, very lively and energetic; the titles are mainly traditional gipsy pieces from Macedonia, and have the for this region typical complex trance rhythms. For all bagpipe fans (there are quite a few in FolkWorld's readership) important to know: Xenos have in their line-up also the Macedonian gaida. Add to these instruments bass and accordeon, and sometimes the shrill singing of Anne Hildyard, then you have an idea of Xenos' music. This is music full of energy and spirit, and they are surely also a superb live act. If you are interested in fresh Balkan gipsy music, this album is well worth for you." Michael Moll
"Xenos served as cultural attaches of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF 1993-94.. in Swiss schools. The group wholly fulfilled ambitious expectations through their artistic, pedagogic and didactic expertise. Their enthusiasm quickly charmed the students to create a spirited atmosphere. ...great confidence and resourcefulness ... a complete success from the very beginning." Christiane Meier, Swiss Committee for UNICEF
"A fantastic performance-children were very excited" Mrs Sandra McLeod, Mildura W.
"Great and excellent songs, dance, music and storytelling. Fantastic. It was really good being your audience. THANKYOU for the great performance." Rebecca, student, Mildura Primary School
Other student comments:
"Your instruments are wierd."
"I really enjoyed every single minute of the performance."
"I can't get the songs out of my head."
"Please come back to see us again."
"My favourite story was Georgie played the gaida when the teacher left the room."
"What sort of music do your parents play?" ...... "Ghost town music" (Raphael Bester aged 6)
"Great CD. Not commercial enough" Bill O'Toole
"Relentless..... relentless.... relentless" Well-intentioned Canberra based reviewer, best left anonymous.
XENOS DANCE REPERTOIRE Just in case you need that one special dance at your wedding!
Here is a list of some of the dances we have played recently.
- LIÇENO (OMORFOULA)
- SIRE SIRE
- ENDEKA (NISHKA BANJA)
- TOU METHODI (SOUFLIOTOUDHA)
- BELA OLIMPIA
- ANOIXE LENON TIN PORTA
- ZAVLECHENA (TRITA PATA)
- SYRTOS KOFTOS
- LENA MOME
- PUSHTENO KOFTOS
- RAJKOSHARENI ÇURAPI
- PATINADHA NAOUSSAS
- KIRA MARIA
- KAMPARE MORE MITRO
- GAJDA VASI
- DHO STA KSENA
- STIS TRIS
- TROMACHTON TIK
- PENTOZALIS slow/fast
- TEK AYAK
- TSISTI SZIRBA
- DE DOI
- DRUMUL DRACULOI