Varese Sarabande releases Safan’s new album “Sirens – Music Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey”

Buy it now on Varsese Sarabande Records!

SIRENS is inspired partly by my love of THE ODYSSEY and partly by my lifelong love of myths. I’ve been enchanted by both since I was a child.  My first memory of reading is sitting in my grammar school library delighting in a book of Greek myths.  These tales and their magic have resonated throughout my life.  In university I studied the works of James Frazer and Joseph Campbell, later visiting the Paleolithic caves of France and Spain.  These travels let to my composing ROUGH MAGIC, music inspired by humanity’s first artworks.

With SIRENS I’m not portraying the literal tales in THE ODYSSEY, but rather the innermost feelings and memories they convey.  The inward experience and journey,  the wanderings of our lives, our relationship to family and home, and the deeper sonorities of existence.  SIRENS is most importantly an immersive experience which might take one to another world where myth, magic, and sensuality are on the surface and upfront.

In preparing to compose SIRENS, I wanted to visit some of the actual locations that appear in THE ODYSSEY.  I found that while they are mostly unknown and imaginary, many scholars put them in and around Sicily.  There I found many places that are named after the sirens, the cyclops,  the wind god, Aeolus, and Odysseus, as well as the straits where Scylla and Charybdis lurked.  I traveled along the coast and visited the Aeolian Islands, exploring caves and ancient quarries, recording the natural sounds and the unique echoes and reverberations of each.  Those “reverbs” (converted into computer programs) are the only ones used on the entire album.

I truly enjoyed entering this mythic world and composing its music.  Close your eyes, let the present drop away, and dive into the world of the Sirens, Odysseus, and your forgotten past.

Craig Safan

January, 2018