this is a blog about Orpheus. the author is a recent graduate of Columbia University (BA, Major in Music), and an aspiring conductor of classical music.
this blog began as an aid to/record of the author's thesis project, which investigated the depiction of Orpheus throughout the course of musical history. the results of the project (three concerts and a paper) are either already posted on this blog or in the process of being posted. feedback on all aspects of the project are welcome - especially since the author hopes to continue work on Orpheus in the future.
every now and then i write about my life too, but i try to keep things mostly Orphean here.
"NNVSNU TSRUNGH" roughly translates to "I'm afraid I exist", and is a tip of my hat to the great novelist Russell Hoban, without whose books i would not have found the head of Orpheus.
• Ask me something. NNVSNU TSRUNGH
In our modern-day human culture, decomposition and decay have often come to be viewed quite negatively, with the former mainly associated with things that are rotten, have a bad smell and are generally symptomatic of death, while the latter is similarly viewed as very undesirable, whether it be in terms of urban decay, or, on a much more personal level, tooth decay. However, they are vital processes in nature, playing an essential role in the breakdown of organic matter, recycling it and making it available again for new organisms to utilise.
This is one reason we allow downed trees to remain in situ within the Thain Family Forest, and it is the basis of compost. Plants would be nothing without decay! ~AR
(I know this is a random post to see on here - especially since I tumbl so little these days. But I just read this and it felt really poignant. I used to be sort of death-phobic - still am, to a certain degree - not afraid of death, but of dead, decaying things. Mummies, dead bodies - I hated autumn for that reason. And only recently started coming to terms with why I felt that way and what it signifies - and that decay is beautiful and natural in its way, too. For everything there is a season, etc etc.)
Icelandic descendants of Vikings singing a hymn in a German train station. They totally need to be on the next Thor soundtrack.
Oh man oh man oh man. 6 guys, and it FILLS THE SPACE. Luck of the architecture - and they know how to pull it off. Nothing is easy making vocal music in a space not built for it. I want to do this kind of thing - randomly perform multipart harmony in public spaces.
This makes me feel so many things. Gods, it’s gorgeous and so evocative and wow. I need to find out what hymn this is.
It’s Hear, Heavenly Creator (I don’t know how that’s spelled in Icelandic, and I don’t have the characters on my keyboard for the letters anyway haha).
It’s… old as balls. Like 11th century old.
This is stunning.
found music is the best
I’ve been involved in a few vocal ensemble-type-projects recently, and actually started a small Josquin group with a few friends. And this pushes all the good buttons. Performance in public spaces for its own sake, ritualistic performance, how good and still-relevant really old music is.
mmm, this too. makes me think of orpheus - one of my ideas-in-progress is that orpheus’ music = the perfect language (that pre-babel language that actually said things and not just the names of things). Started thinking about this right after I read The Name of the Rose and it stuck. I’ve been taking a little break from orpheus for the past year (as you can tell by the sorry state of my tumblr), but this is a thought I’d like to come back to someday.