Of Story and Music


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 sample recordings. Full recordings are available upon request. 

 

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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. A beautiful recitation here by Jennifer Hassan

The Song Of Aethiopis
This was the general name for Africa for the ancient Greeks, who were fascinated by the matriarchal and military traditions of the many nations of the continent 

Pyrrhus and the Golden Table of Zeus
King of the ancient country of Epirus, Pyrrhus rewarded his soldiers and allies  with lavish, wine laden feasts replete with all manner of pleasures. This segment from our recitation describes one such feast followed by an instrumental piece based on the unique folk style of music from the Pindus mountain border region of modern day Greece & Albania 

The Goddess Nuut
Ancient Egyptian goddess who arched herself over the Earth, as she was the sky itself. Nuut swallowed the Sun and Moon, illuminating these bodies with her light so they can be reborn daily 

How Satanel Created the World
The Bogomils of the medieval Balkans believed in a dualist understanding of the universe. Their creation story is an interesting, albeit controversial tale. This recitation from an old Bosnian text accompanied by the lute known as the saz

Baladi
Traditional Egyptian folk dance from the villages along the Nile, ages old but still performed today at celebrations. This instrumental is a duet of accordion & dumbek drum

The Ships of Light
Mani lived in 3rd century Iraq preaching what would be called the Religion of Light. He was the founder of the world's first truly universal religion, Manichaeism being a Gnostic faith acknowledging all spiritual teachers and universal truths found in the world's sacred scriptures. The excerpts recited here are from the Gospel of Mani titled the 'Ships of Light'. Having completed their trial in the world of matter,  the luminous souls of the departed are ferried by the Sun and the Moon to the Gardens of Light- an ancient Babylonian concept describing the journey to Heaven

All recordings engineered at Soundworks Recording, Astoria NY

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