Of Story and Music
Recitations And Recordings
Mythology is composed by poets out of their insights and realizations. Mythologies are not invented; they are found. You can no more tell us what your dream is going to be tonight than we can invent a myth. Myths come from the mystical region of essential experience. Joseph Campbell
We collect and research tales and narratives of long ago, using known translations of the originals or composing the verses of the recitations and the accompanying music ourselves. Relying on the traditional modal systems and rhythmic cycles found in the musical schools of various world cultures our interest lies in those folk traditions that are deeply rooted in the distant past. Enhancing our performances are costumed actors, actresses and dancers who pose, interpret and entertain, bringing to life the very essence of the particular story being recounted.
There are many beautiful epic recitations, poems and liturgies that all the world knows and loves that have their origins in the distant classical past. The authors of these stories are given their rightful due, as beauty is something to be treasured forever. However, the stories and narratives which have been neglected for various reasons- such as those that recount alternate versions of the deeds of famous vanquished heroes, the changing of gender roles and the loss of matriarchy in the face of male patriarchy after the creation of human civilization, the spiritual teachings that have been seen as obstacles to established state religions or have been silenced or in danger of becoming forgotten, or have become the common forms of prayer and dogma for many religious traditions despite oppression and resistance- these are the tales and narratives upon which we focus and endeavor to share with our audiences so as to provide stimulation for thought, questioning, and for thinking critically. Most of all however, we humans long to remember that which has made us what we are today, and that which informs and guides us as we go forth into the world of tomorrow. These tales reveal our true, inner history, the very building blocks and foundations of our society.
Please turn up your sound as you peruse our recordings.
The Goddess Nuut
The ancient Egyptian Goddess Nuut of the the sky protected her husband Geb the Earth, forming her body in an arch, allowing light to pass through but keeping out all things foul and evil. She was important in the hierarchy of the Egyptian pantheon, for the rise and fall of the Nile depended upon her benevolence
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Odi Et Amo
Gaius Valerius Catullus was a poet of the late Roman Republic who wrote chiefly in the neoteric style, which is about personal life rather than the classical heroes of the epics. In I Hate And I Love he expresses his frustration...about a woman who insists on maintaining multiple relationships! Featuring Deborah Karpel. Model, Natalia Perlaza
The Passion Of Sappho
Sappho was one of the great poets of the ancient world. Her poetry is daring, passionate, powerful, erotic and witty, marked with a definite feminist stamp. Sappho's outspoken message to her readers and listeners is to enjoy life to it's fullest and to follow one's heart in all matters of love, attraction and desire. Recitation, Jennifer Hassan
Nezahualcoyotl was a 15th century ruler of Texcoco who brought about a golden age in Aztec civilization. A builder as well as a philosopher, he is remembered for his poetry which is characterized by the use of myth and symbolism
The Ballad Of Teuta
A powerful queen of ancient Illyria, Teuta ruled a kingdom in the western Balkans. She held a reputation for ferocity as her galleys plundered Mediterranean shipping, prompting the Romans to invade her lands. Her story is factual, but in time her deeds became the stuff of legend. The music for this recitation is based on the northern Albanian folk tradition, and told in the style of the bards known as 'rapsod' Model, Lizza Hasan
The Shahnameh, translated as The Book Of Kings is the national, ancient epic of the Iranian people, formerly compiled into one volume in the 10th century AD by the poet Firdowsi. It includes many exciting stories and episodes of heroes and champions battling invading armies and subduing fantastic beasts and villains, echoing the Persian Zoroastrian concept of the ongoing battle between light and dark, good and evil. The lengthy epic in its entirety is recounted in over 50,000 couplets. Ironically, it seems that the author of the work was not fully compensated by the ruler who commissioned him to create this masterpiece in the first place, so Firdowsi wrote a famous public complaint about his disappointment, which we thought to include at the end of this recitation. The script and the Iranian style music was inspired by the book and Persian culture.
All recordings engineered at Soundworks Recording, Astoria NY