KleoDrums

Percussion instruments handmade in Greece by K. Xirou

Athens, Greece · 40 Sales

KleoDrums

Percussion instruments handmade in Greece by K. Xirou

Athens, Greece 40 Sales On Etsy since 2012

5 out of 5 stars
(17)

Announcement   Prices include VAT.
Please request a VAT FREE LISTING if you do not live in the EU.

Framedrums, tambourines, davuls, doumbeks , udus, sistrums and more handmade by Kleo Xirou in her Athens workshop. Locally produced materials including natural goat skins. Custom orders encouraged! Worldwide shipping.

Announcement
Last updated on Jun 17, 2016

Prices include VAT.
Please request a VAT FREE LISTING if you do not live in the EU.

Framedrums, tambourines, davuls, doumbeks , udus, sistrums and more handmade by Kleo Xirou in her Athens workshop. Locally produced materials including natural goat skins. Custom orders encouraged! Worldwide shipping.

Kleo Xirou

Contact shop owner

Kleo Xirou

View all 28 items

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(17)
patronag

patronag on Jul 14, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

This is a magnificent frame drum. Kleo clearly loves what she does; this instrument has been handmade with great care and attention to detail. Furthermore, there is a strong sense of character about the instrument right out of the box. For a new hand drum with a natural skin it plays and sounds quite remarkably broken in. The medium thin goatskin is a fantastic hide! Open doums have super strong, highly resonant fundamentals, and you can achieve a range of overtone/laden edge tones on the teks-The skin is extremely dynamic, it is an excellent excellent hide! Trans-Atlantic shipping from Greece to the northeastern United States was surprisingly very quick. Kleo's packaging of the drum was done with great care. Everything is perfect; I will be purchasing more drums from Kleo.

Lora Mellies

Lora Mellies on May 18, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Well made whistle. I expected it to be about 6 inches long, but it was smaller than expected. Still love it...

View all 17 reviews

About

An artisan from Brooklyn that makes percussion instruments!

Dimokratia News, 05.01.2014
article by Gerasimos Kontos
photos by Christos Zenas

Kleo Xirou transforms skins and clay into musical instruments in her "magical" basement in Nea Smyrni. Her clients, noted musicians and lots of museums.

She unravels the skin on her metal workbench, measures its thickness with absolute precision and marks the surface with a yellow crayon. Using a scissor she cuts out a round piece, soaks it in water in a metal basin and a few minutes later starts the sewing.
"The skin requires great care and patience. You have to make sure it's a good match, check for holes, attach it correctly, it's the most difficult stage of construction," explains Kleo Xirou, who for nearly 15 years has been making handcrafted frame-drums, davuls, defis, toumbis, bedirs, udus, doumbeks and other traditional percussion instruments in a small basement in Nea Smyrni.

There is no sign at the entrance. Only a small poster with the KleoDrums logo in the green iron window. "Signs are for passers-by and I.. don't want them in my hair. Not that I'm antisocial, quite the opposite! But I prefer to work alone" she says laughing. Born in Brooklyn, New York she fell in love with music at an early age and several years later, as a philosophy student, started playing percussion with friends. "Money was scarce, so most of our instruments were borrowed or used and needed repairs. That's how my friend Morgan and I started experimenting with skins, wood and other materials."

She traveled to Greece often. "Mostly on account of my Greek descent and because I had relatives here. But I wasn't particularly close with the Greek element until.. I discovered Greece's musical traditions via Ross Daly's albums". When she finally moved to Greece, she burrowed into the workshop of a luthier friend who also made percussion instruments and was initiated into the secrets of instrument making. "I had the opportunity to work, to evolve, to meet many artisans, musicians like Ross Daly and Sudanese (percussionist) Amin Alagambou, as well as now acclaimed artists such as Pericles Papapetropoulos and Zacharias Spiridakis who were then just starting out. These people buy my instruments today.. it's magical the way things turned out."

Online Orders
Her clients list includes big names in the Greek music scene like Stamatis Kraounakis, The Museum of Greek Folk Instruments in Plaka, shops in Exarcheia and Nafplio as well as professional and amateur musicians from Europe, China, Australia and Japan. Orders are made online or by appointment in her shop. A small space lined by wooden and metal shelves "loaded" with ready to ship and half-finished instruments, goat skins, metal hoops, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, paints, cords and sailing rope. In her basement "kingdom" 43 year old Kleo, mother of two, breathes life into clay and wood, experiments with new sounds and emerging materials and repairs most everything including ancient harps and lyres.
"I'm a real handyman! Many people don't know about the repair side of my business, I fix anything that has a skin." The materials she uses are almost exclusively locally produced. "Beechwood, Chalkida clay, 95% of my materials are Greek. I want to achieve the best results. If I can do that using Greek goat skins, for example, than I'll prefer them to imports," she says while tightening the clamps on a wooden frame.
"This one still needs a lot of work. The body needs to be finished, then sanded, stained and varnished, then the skins go on with the hoops and finally it is ready to tune. My profession is considered a man's job because of all the hard work. Others think it's easy. Of those who tried it, however, few succeeded."

And Jewelry!
In addition to her davuls, framedrums and clay instruments, Kleo Xirou also designs jewelry using "eccentric" materials, like gambling chips and cinematic film. "I make rings, earrings and bracelets working primarily with old materials that had some other usage. For example, I've made earrings with Bingo balls, which are pieces from a numbers game played in the U.S. I combine standard materials like silver and gold with alternative ones like cinematic film and poker chips. Jewelry is more of a hobby for me," she notes. Her designs are sold in museums shops, galleries and selected boutiques.

Tweet
Around the web
Shop members
  • Kleo Xirou

    Owner, Artisan

    Kleo Xirou was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1970. She studied Philosophy at Syracuse University. Founder of the Athens based KleoDrums workshop, she has gained international acclaim for her handcrafted ceramic and wooden percussion instruments.

Shop policies

Last updated on June 3, 2016
Please like my page on Facebook to keep up with my drum-making work!
https://www.facebook.com/KleoDrums/

Accepted payment methods

Payment
Listing prices INCLUDE VAT - required for sales conducted within the EU ONLY. If you DO NOT live in the European Union, Please request a VAT FREE LISTING by clicking "ASK A QUESTION" under the listing title.
Shipping
Orders are shipped via Hellenic Post. Insurance may be purchased at additional cost for countries that accept declared value shipments only.

Do not accept packages which have been tampered with or look damaged. Open such packages in the presence of a postal clerk to ensure that the contents are secure before signing.
Refunds and Exchanges
Refunds issued only if the item is no longer available or cannot be shipped within the estimated shipping window.
Additional policies and FAQs
Purchases shipped within the E.U. will include a cash-register receipt and an invoice in English. Purchases outside the E.U. will include an invoice and transport document in Greek as well as an invoice in English.