For six months, every day, Nikos Kosmidis from Pentavryso in northern Greece had passion, stubbornness and perseverance to make the biggest Pontian lyra in the world.
The 70-year-old is neither a carpenter nor an artist, but he undertook the entire construction of the lyra, from the original design to the bow.
“I searched the internet to see where they have the biggest lyra and I found one in Trapezounta (Τραπεζούντα, Turkish: Trabzon) at five metres and eighty centimeters,” Kosmidis said.
“So we thought of making a bigger one here in our area and finally we managed to have ours at six meters and seventy centimeters,” he added.
The construction was not only time consuming, but it required attention to even the smallest detail.
Kosmidis kept his notes on paper and wrote everything: from the technique to the hours he devoted to wood carving.
“I had my grandfather’s old model as a prototype, which he had brought from his homeland,” he explained.
“I made a scale, I found the proportions and how each piece of construction will be enlarged. I took the wood, 21 mm thick each, and started making the connections, the gluing, the rubbing and the assembly,” he continued.
With a few tools and a simple circular saw, the retiree worked with passion and as the days passed and he came closer to the final result, he felt so much joy and satisfaction, until the famous Pontian lyra took on its dimensions.
A Cappadocian of Asia Minor himself, not only does not know how to play the lyra, but he is not even Pontian. However, he liked this musical instrument and it was a bet for him to succeed.
“It was not easy, but I said I would do it. If you set a goal and you want, you can achieve it,” he explained, noting that the great difficulty was in the neck of the lyra, the point where the tunings start, as there was a need for special treatment of the wood for the curves.
The wooden Pontian lyra is so large that its manufacturer says it can hold up to five people inside. It also has strings, which are made of a simple six-millimeter rope and as for the bow, it is made of aluminum and is stuck on the giant lyra.
Speaking on 104.9 FM, Kosmas Sidiropoulos, president of Pentavryso Eordea, pointed out that the construction was completed two years ago, but due to the loss of the previous president of the village, it remained in storage.
He estimates that it will be difficult to set it up the large Pontian lyra.
“We cannot even calculate the weight of our huge lyra. In an attempt by twenty people to lift it, we could not even move it,” he said, taking it for granted that when the time came to move it, cranes would definitely be needed.
The president of the village hopes that in a few months there will be the possibility to place the giant Pontian lyra in the village square to withstand time, in the cold, rain and wind.