Kelly Thoma was born in Piraeus, Greece, in 1978. Since 1995, she has been studying the lyra with Ross Daly and three years later started traveling with him and his group, Labyrinth, participating in concerts in Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S. She has taken part in many projects with musicians from various different traditions from other countries.
Being a member of Labyrinth and Labyrinth Musical Workshop she has had the chance to meet many important musicians such as the Trio Chemirani, Omer Erdogdular, Derya Turkan, Zohar Fresco, Pedram Khavar Zamini, Dhruba Ghosh, Ballake Sissoko, Erdal Erzincan, Mehmet Erenler, Hossein Arman,Yurdal Tokcan, Ustad Mohammed Rahim Khushnawaz and many more. She participates in many of Ross Daly's projects : Ross Daly Quartet, Seyir, Iris, White Dragon, as well as in Tokso Folk String Quartet, (with Anne Hytta, Sigrun Eng and Eleonore Billy). She graduated from the English Literature department of the Athens University as well as from the ”Rallou Manou” Dance School.
The term "contemporary modal music" has been created by Ross Daly and describes the sum total of contemporary compositions created today by musicians working within various modal traditions. This music is the continuation of the procedure of modal composing through a very free perspective and is not at all connected with the goal of "preserving traditions". It is the contemporary expression of the beauty of modality (phrase-oriented non-harmonic music which often employs non-tempered intervals).
Kelly's lyras are made by Stelios Petrakis and Leonidas Spanos.
The design of this type of lyra was created by Ross Daly in 1991. The first one was constructed in Athens by Nikos Bras. This lyra has three playing strings (A-D-G) and 12 to 22 sympathetic strings.