From the recording The Lyre of Hermes

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Maenads (Nymphs of Dionysus)

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Maenads were the wild, orgiastic nymphs of the consort of the god Dionysus. In ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus was the Olympian god of wine, vegetation, pleasure, festivity, madness and wild frenzy!

Maenads were also known as Thyiads, Bacchae and Bacchantes. As Nymphs (personifications of nature), they were often depicted as beautiful women. Within the mythology, the first Maenads were Nymphs which would take care of Dionysus and nurse him as he came of age. However, the Maenads are also depicted sometimes as women that resist the powers of Dionysus and are driven mad by him, which leads to them leaving their homes to live in the wilderness. Also, the Maenads were believed to have the power to charm snakes and give milk to wolf cubs as if they were infants; while fire could not burn them and weapons could not wound them.

In ancient Greek ritual religious practice, Maenads was also the name given to female followers, cult members, or nurses of Dionysus. The word Maenads literally means "raving ones" because the Maenads were known for dancing erotically and ravenously in a wine-induced intoxication! The purpose of these rituals for the Maenads was to have a religious experience, obtain the state of a trance, and get closer to divinity.

In this improvisation, I attempt to evoke such wild orgiastic frenzy, by demonstrating the fascinating percussive possibilities of the recreated chelys form lyre, by using my heavy carved wood plectrum as a baton on the goat skin soundboard & the edge of the lyre, to literally create a built-in drum kit!

The intoxicated, drunken feel I also attempt to convey in this spontaneous improvisation, is hopefully conjured up here, by the use of the Archytas Enharmonic Genus, which features its distinctively fuzzy and unsettling quartertones.