From the recording The Cave of Hermes

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The Scented Flowers of Persephone

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This piece was inspired by the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture) - in its vivid depiction of the ancient Greek legend of how Demeter's daughter, Persephone (the ancient Greek goddess of spring growth), was abducted by Hades, whilst she was picking sweetly scented flowers:

"I begin to sing of Demeter, the holy goddess with the beautiful hair.
And her daughter [Persephone] too. The one with the delicate ankles, whom Hadês seized. She was given away by Zeus, the loud-thunderer, the one who sees far and wide.

Demeter did not take part in this, she of the golden double-axe, she who glories in the harvest.

She [Persephone] was having a good time, along with the daughters of Okeanos, who wear their girdles slung low.

She was picking flowers: roses, crocus, and beautiful violets.
Up and down the soft meadow. Iris blossoms too she picked, and hyacinth.

And the narcissus, which was grown as a lure for the flower-faced girl
by Gaia [Earth]. All according to the plans of Zeus.

She [Gaia] was doing a favor for the one who receives many guests [Hadês].

It [the narcissus] was a wondrous thing in its splendor. To look at it gives a sense of holy awe to the immortal gods as well as mortal humans.
It has a hundred heads growing from the root up.

Its sweet fragrance spread over the wide skies up above.
And the earth below smiled back in all its radiance. So too the churning mass of the salty sea.

She [Persephone] was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her.
It happened on the Plain of Nysa.

There it was that the Lord who receives many guests made his lunge.

He was riding on a chariot drawn by immortal horses. The son of Kronos. The one known by many names.

He seized her against her will, put her on his golden chariot,
And drove away as she wept. She cried with a piercing voice..."

To evoke the dreamy scene of scented flowers, I use the distinctively dreamy, sensual ancient Greek Hypolydian mode - the equivalent intervals as F-F on the white notes of the piano, but heard here in the focussed purity of just intonation.

Whenever I play anything in this gorgeously sensual mode, it conjures up imagery in my mind, of sweetly scented flowers - amazingly, I recently discovered that exactly the same mode was also used in ancient Persia where it was known as "Golestan" - which amazingly, translates as "Flower Garden"!

The lyre featured in this piece, is the Luthieros "Lyre of Apollo III" - its rich, subtle buzzy timbre to me goes further & evokes the sound of summer bees, buzzing around the scented flowers which Persephone was busy picking.