Music

This page is based on the music pages I created for the old Neos Alexandria website; I decided to reproduce them here both because I want to keep updating, and because when NA switched to their new site they dropped a lot of the pieces and did not keep the hyperlinks… and I think those are valuable. I have also dropped some material, of course, and added some other non-Greco-Egyptian items that were not appropriate for the NA site.

GROUPS, WEBSITES AND LARGER WORKS

Daemonia Nymphe: What can I say about Daemonia Nymphe? Ancient hymns, reconstructions of ancient instruments – pure Hellenic ritual music.

John Curtis Franklin: Musicologist’s academic website – This site has some truly remarkable material, including a CD of reconstructed music, an article on reproducing and distinguishing Greek ‘microtones’, and MP3s for a reconstruction of the music of Aristophane’s ‘Clouds’. There’s a lot more, and the site will reward careful browsing (time-sink alert!)… but be warned that a lot of the internal links are badly coded and may require the removal of extraneous “%20”s (spaces) and such from various places to work (so don’t give up too easily).

Nikolaos Ioannidis: Ioannidis is a musicologist who has recorded several CDs of ancient music available for paid download. Samples are available at the website.

George Danek & Stefan Hagel: Homeric Singing – An Approach to Original Performance. An academic website chock full of information on research into ancient performance practice.

Wendy Rule: So many of Wendy’s songs are about Greek mythology that I thought it would be simpler just to point you to her website once and let it go at that.

Below are links to individual songs, compositions or albums that relate, either directly or indirectly, to some deity or myth in whom or which I have an interest. These range from the IMO worshipful (e.g., the Lantern Night hymn to Athena) to the tangentially related (Frankie Avalon’s “Venus”) to the more or less idiosyncratic (Kid Rock’s “I am the Bullgod” for Dionysos, for instance, or CSN&Y’s “Our House” for Hestia).

Gustav Holst – The Planets (streaming performances of all movements here, under the 2002-3 season)

Stephen Sondheim – The Frogs (2004) – Broadway show based on Aristophanes’ work.

F. M. Einheit, from the seminal industrial band Einstürzende Neubaten, created some works dealing with Greek myth – most notably, a “Prometheus” suite and “Odysseus 7”, a “radio-space-drama”. There is an article about them here.

Arnold Bax, Nympholept (tone poem)

Atrium Musicae de Madrid: Musique de la Grèce Antique (samples at link)

Carl Vine – Choral Symphony (No. 6) – 3 of the movements are settings of Homeric Hymns (to the Earth, Moon and Sun); the first is a setting of a piece of the Enuma Elish

Christodoulos Halaris: Music of Ancient Greece (“Hymn to the Sun”)

Conrad Steinmann: Melpomen: Ancient Greek Music

De Organographia: Music of the Ancient Greeks

Michael Levy – recordings of ancient music and compositions in the ancient modes – Greek, Egyptian, Jewish and more.

Nick Humez, Myth Songs

Synaulia – Music of Ancient Rome.

Yannis Markopoulos – The Liturgy of Orpheus. (“Hymn to the Muses”)

WORKS FOR SPECIFIC GODS

Hoi Theoi: Eleusis – Tales of the Holy – This is a rather remarkable CD setting a selection of Orphic hymns to Greek club music. Very rare now, and never released in the US; but if you can find it online, it’s worth it.

Achilles: Jag Panzer – Achilles

Led Zeppelin – Achilles’ Last Stand

ManowarAchilles: Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

Warlord Achilles’ Revenge

Aphrodite: The Cat Empire – The Rhythm

Frankie Avalon – Venus

Apollo: Joe Croker – Hush, Apollo’s Here (hear a sample on CDBaby)

Point of Ares – The Sorrows of Young Apollo (album)

Athena:  Bryn Mawr’s Lantern Night hymn (lyrics, recording)

Hercules & Love Affair – Athene

Spiral Dance – The Goddess and the Weaver

Atreides/Cassandra: ABBA – Cassandra

Anonyma – Cassandra (may be available through Anne Lister’s website)

Blind Guardian – And Then There Was Silence

CrüxShadows – Cassandra

David Murray (feat. Cassandra Wilson) – Prophet of Doom

Theatre of Tragedy – Cassandra

Virgin Steele – The House of Atreus. Multi-disc metal album covering the history of… you guessed it.

Daedalus and Icarus: Anonyma – Icarus ( may be available through Anne Lister’s website)  I have a recording of this version by Martin Simpson.

Fisher – Never Say Never (sample)

Iron Maiden – Flight of Icarus

Dionysos: Corvus CoraxBacchus

David Gray – Flesh

Dionysia – Dionysia (MP3)

Basically everything The Doors ever did.

Kid Rock – I Am the Bullgod

Kula Shaker – The Sound of Drums

The Orion Experience – Cult of Dionysos

Peter Gabriel – Rhythm of the Heat

The Pogues – Drunken Boat (based on its startling similarity to this ancient story of Dionysos)

TherionFrom the Dionysian Days

UB40 – Red, Red Wine

Also, Sannion posted a series of playlists for Dionysos on LJ a while back; they can be found here.

Hermes: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

Our Lady Peace – Thief

Hestia: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Our House

Isis: Damh the Bard – Isis Unveiled (listen in the player embedded on the website)

Odysseus: Cream – Tales of Brave Ulysses

Steely Dan – Home at Last

Symphony X – The Odyssey

Orpheus: Anaïs Mitchell – Hadestown (CD of the music from a stage show about Eurydice and Orpheus!)

Don Henley – The Boys of Summer

Sleepthief – Eurydice

Pan: Damh the Bard – The Pipes of Pan (listen in the player embedded on the website)

FaunHymn to Pan (not the Crowley)

Heather Alexander – Creature of the Wood

Inkubus Sukkubus – Song to Pan (not to be confused with their song “Io Pan”, which IMO is just dumb; this one at least doesn’t make what I consider to be egregious theological errors)

The Waterboys – The Pan Within; The Return of Pan

Aleister Crowley’s “Hymn to Pan” – I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of Crowley’s theology, but his writings in general, and this poem in particular, are so important in the modern pagan/darkwave music scene that I hate to just ignore it. The Hymn to Pan has been recorded, in whole or in part, by artists such as Rhea’s Obsession, Unto Ashes, Endura (all darkwave rock), “Bone Woman” (pagan folk), Thelemic acts like CophNia and IllumineNaughty, and even death metal (Eternal Dirge). There is also a great recitation of the poem by Ronald Hutton at an OBOD event, which you can hear by downloading Druidcast #4.

Persephone/Hades: Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

Escape Key – Persephone’s Song (MP3)

John Schrag – Kore Evohe – choral work based on a modern pagan chant

Kula Shaker – Persephone

Kula Shaker – Shadowlands

Laurell – Long, Long Gone (hear a sample at the link)

Lamb – Darkness

Persephone, Kecharitomene

Revel Moon – Persephone (MP3)

Stonecircle – Persephone’s Dream (listen in the site’s embedded player)

Zeus: Bone Poets Orchestra – Smells Like Rain (MP3)

MISC AND NON-GREEK MATERIAL

Charlie Roadman – Athens v. Sparta. A reasonably comprehensive overview of the Peloponnesian War, with a decent soundtrack.

Dar Williams – This Was Pompeii

Gaia Consort / Bone Poets Orchestra

Gjallarhorn – Suvetar (Goddess of Spring)

Ioan Gruffudd – reciting a poem about Taliesin (part 1, part 2)

Soil & “PIMP” Sessions – Summer Goddess

Antarbrahmandiya – a great streaming Live365 station that plays Hindu kirtans and bhajans. I used to listen to this a LOT at work before they went VIP-only.

The Green Man: Cloudstreet – The Green Man (MP3)

Jethro Tull – Jack in the Green

Martin Donnelly – The Green Man

Type O Negative – Green Man

XTC – Greenman

Quan Yin: Rev. Heng Sure – Dedication of Merit (MP3)

Jennifer Berezan – She Carries Me (I also have a recording of this by Rev. Heng Sure)

Thousand-Handed Bodhisattva – A remarkable dance performance.

5 Responses to Music

  1. Editor B says:

    This is great. Thanks for sharing. By the way, Faun has a “Hymn to Pan” on their new album.

  2. Erik says:

    Just listened to it on Youtube – *very* nice! (I love Faun…) Added to the page – many thanks!

  3. Kullervo says:

    The lyrics to Hawkwind’s (awesome) “Magnu” are largely adapted from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s (awesome) “Hymn of Apollo.”

  4. Erik says:

    Ah, Hawkwind… haven’t heard them in a decade or more! Moorcock and metal did make a good combination… :)

  5. Kullervo says:

    Moorcock, metal, and the Theoi. That’s just a recipe for Kullervo will love it.

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