A Lullaby for the Volcano of Nisyros

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime musical experiment will take place this summer on the island of Nisyros

Nisyros, the remote beauty of the Dodecanese, has always been shrouded with mystique because of its volcano which has not erupted since 1888, but remains active. The entire island is in fact a volcano, with a 4 km caldera at its center and five smaller craters, the most imposing of which is the 3,000 to 4,000-year-old Stefanos.

With a depth of 27m and a 330m diameter, it is considered the largest and most well preserved hydrothermal crater in the world. Like a sleeping beast, it is still puffing sulphuric fumes from its many fumaroles, making it hard for some people to visit the area, let alone walk at the bottom of the crater. If, however, you can stand the smell, a visit there makes for a unique, otherworldly experience.

This summer, and for one night only, Stefanos will be hosting an enchanting musical encounter, lit solely by the August full moon. Without any prior rehearsals, 15 young Greek musicians will meet for the first time and improvise for exactly 10 hours and 34 minutes, from 19:58 on 18 August to 06:32 the next morning, in an attempt to spontaneously compose a lengthy music piece inspired by the unique volcanic scenery around them.

The participating musicians – artists and composers with a classical, jazz, electronic and traditional background – will form a circle which they can freely leave and rejoin as the night unfolds, and fill the crater with their voices, electric guitars, double bass, flute, percussion, piano and clarinets, among other instruments.

This unique musical marathon, or “pagan work in progress,” as its creators describe it, is co-produced by the Onassis Cultural Center and the cultural entertainment center six d.o.g.s, with the support of the Municipality of Nisyros. It will not be repeated again nor video-documented (only audio-recorded and photographed), so if Nisyros was ever on your bucket list, here is a unique excuse to visit it this summer.


From Athens International Airport to Kos airport (50 min) or Rhodes airport (1 hour) and then by boat to Nisyros (1h 20min from Kos and 4-5 hours from Rhodes).

From Piraeus port to Kos (11-14 hours) or Rhodes (13-16 hours) and then by boat to Nisyros (1 hour 20 min from Kos and 4-5 hours from Rhodes).

From Piraeus port directly to Nisyros every Thursday and Sunday (13-14 hours).

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