Odysseus and the Sirens

05:21
03/02/2016
Michael Levy

Story

Clip of Track 1, "The Ancient Greek Kithara of Classical Antiquity":

Regarding the story of Odysseus and the Sirens in Homer’s “Odyssey", quoting from Wikipedia:

“In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn;Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island…Odysseus was curious as to what the Sirens sang to him, and so, on the advice of Circe, he had all of his sailors plug their ears with beeswax and tie him to the mast. He ordered his men to leave him tied tightly to the mast, no matter how much he would beg. When he heard their beautiful song, he ordered the sailors to untie him but they bound him tighter. When they had passed out of earshot, Odysseus demonstrated with his frowns to be released”

This piece is an evocation of the sort of melody which may once have accompanied a recitation of this tale. I use the distinctively poignant and luring ancient Greek Phrygian mode (misnamed the ‘Dorian’ mode in the Middle Ages), featuring an atmospheric background of ocean sounds, with the sound of the kithara enhanced by a subtle reverb, sampled from Belgian monasteries…

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