Monday, November 20, 2006

An Ancient Muse and Crying Wolf

Loreena McKennitt released a new CD called An Ancient Muse.

The blurb: “Tell me, O Muse, of those who travelled far and wide”

Aptly, it is an echo of Homer’s timeless Odyssey that introduces Loreena McKennitt’s seventh studio recording, the latest volume of a project she describes as “musical travel writing”. This time, the journey takes her in search of the Celts’ easternmost paths, from the plains of Mongolia to the kingdom of King Midas and the Byzantine Empire. Along the way, she muses on the concepts of home, of travel in all its incarnations, of the cultural intermingling that underpins human history and our universal legacies of conflict and hope.

Recorded at Real World Studios and featuring a host of acclaimed musicians, the album proffers a treasure trove of instruments, from harp, hurdy-gurdy and accordion to oud, lyra, kanoun and nyckelharpa (the Scandinavian keyed fiddle). Highlights include the seductive rhythms and Silk Road influences of first single “Caravanserai”; “Penelope’s Song”, a paean to steadfast love; and Loreena’s musical setting of Sir Walter Scott’s poem of star-crossed romance, “The English Ladye And The Knight”. Together, the nine songs that comprise An Ancient Muse conjure up a wide world’s worth of human stories that are as unique as they are unforgettable.

Unrelated, Mary Beard posts Crying wolf about the wolf-and-twins bronze in Rome. Either way, I'm not certain people would stop wanting to see it. It's still a famous and old piece of art, and frankly, it's a symbol of Rome. It's been such for so long that I don't really see people abandoning it just because we're now considering the possibility that it's not as old as we "thought" it was. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part. I'm rather fond of the wolf. And people really are quite fickle.


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