A musical evocation of the ancient Greek mythology surrounding the passage of the spirits of the dead, on their journey to reach Elysium - a comfortable place where the sun always shone...
In my efforts to create a 'New Ancestral' music, (composing new music for the recreated lyres of ancient times in an effort to bring these wonderfully versatile instruments new life into the 21st century and beyond), several of the resulting recordings are enhanced with contemporary, otherworldly studio effects - hopefully suitable for waking the pantheon of ancient Greek gods from their slumbers!
Similar in spirit to my 2017 album "Ascension of the Lyre", this release attempts to go boldly where no other lyre player has gone before...
This album features ancient Greek inspired improvisations for solo lyres, originally featured in my YouTube series of highly experimental projects - put together in an attempt to demonstrate the central goal of my 'New Ancestral' musical mission, that the remarkable versatility & exotic timbre of the lyres of antiquity, have a new place in 21st century music & on into the future - rather than remaining forever mute, in some quaint, dusty museum exhibition!
The ancient Greek-themed improvisations feature my recreated chelys (tortoise shell form) lyre & kithara (handmade in modern Greece by Luthieros) and the pure harp-like timbre of my 10-string lyre (handmade in the USA by Marini Made Harps).
The tracks "The Visions of Morpheus" & "Ancient Dreamscapes" by way of contrast, feature my Luthieros custom-made replica of a 3,500 year old surviving ancient Egyptian lyre dating from the 18th Dynasty, preserved in Leiden; whose distinctive hypnotic sitar-like buzzing timbre is perfect for transporting the mind of the listener to exotic meditations.
The tracks were literally conjured up as 100% live improvisations, with several of the tracks featuring an intricate layered texture spontaneously created during the performances, by the use of a loop pedal - although the pedal itself does create a few noticeably clicks throughout some of the tracks, precisely the same spontaneous feel could never have been replicated by the mechanical process of recording each layer separately, then artificially layering the lines by the use of multi-layering audio software.
Similar to my 2017 experimental album, "Ascension of the Lyre", the mixing and mastering of the raw audio from my lyre improvisations features a distinctive fusion of the exotic, ancient timbre of my recreated lyres, with a subtle use of dreamy, other-worldly studio effects.
The ultimate aim of this release, is to create a meditative, inspirational compilation; suitable for enhancing creative thinking, relaxation & to transport the listener to distinctive dreamscapes sculptured by their own imagination in response to my lyre improvisation...
Aiming to literally redefine 'New Age' music, this release features a selection of brand new, completely spontaneously created improvisations for the recreated lyre of the ancient world - new compositions, for an ancient instrument! All the tracks in this album also feature my lyre tuned in geometrically pure just intonation.
The theme of the album is the progression to the ancient Greek ideal of "Ataraxia" (the inner harmony we strive to attain, once we achieve freedom from distress) - an inner peace which can only come, when we learn to live with the difficult truth that the only thing certain in the enigma of our conscious experience, is uncertainty. Only once we can swallow this truth, can we finally appreciate the mystery!
This perfect contentment, was first expressed in Ancient Greek philosophy by Pyrrho, as 'Ataraxia'; a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.
The hallowed state of Ataraxia, according to Pyrrho, can only to be achieved by finally accepting the hard but timeless truth, that the only thing we can ever know for certain, is uncertainty! Translating this incredible philosophical insight to our modern times, we can only find our own state of Ataraxia; our personal inner harmony, by learning to appreciate the cosmic mystery of the very existence our conscious experience, as actual sentient beings , instead of becoming too obsessed in the actually futile quest to try to understand everything; which will only bring us struggles, unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We can only ever have a finite understanding of this infinite universe!
To sum up this cosmic enigma, so famously described by the late astronomer, Carl Sagan, the we are literally forged of star dust - that briefly became conscious of the stars..
Back in classical antiquity, in "The Republic", the philosopher Plato, famously used the analogy of lyre strings to represent how the ideal society ought to live - although the timbre and tone of each string is different, they can still work together to produce beautiful harmony and order - society should aim to literally be like a well tuned lyre!
Bringing this idea new life in my quest for a 'New Ancestral' musical revolution, the limitless creative musical possibilities of the 10 strings I have on the lyre with which I recorded this release with, are analogous to the maximum of 10 decades with which our brief human lives span - even although the present human species has a maximum of 10 decades of natural lifespan, there are almost limitless possibilities in each of them, for each and every one of us to shape our precious years of conscious, sentient beings in any way we can possibly imagine!
Even If there is no God or gods, we alone still miraculously have the power within our 'Inner Shaman', to create our own meaning in life; even if all our religions prove eventually to be wrong and the universe itself, of which we are briefly a part, exists for no particular cause or reason.
Each of us must create our own form of harmony and order out of the chaos of this world in which we briefly find ourselves in - therefore, we all need to ultimately strive to literally become the lyre players of our own lives...