Thursday, April 03, 2003


(From United Press International)


The past three years have been a powerful journey for early music ensemble Savae. It started when they came across a book of mystical translations of prayers in Aramaic, a language spoken in the Middle East 2,000 years ago. That was just the beginning of this historical mystery that unites ancient music and dialects with modern-day crises in politics and religion. The sacred music of Jerusalem's Second Temple maintains legendary status among scholars. According to the Bible, this ancient holy site was built around 540 B.C. and featured music many religion and music scholars believe directly influenced chant and other early Christian music. Both the music and temple, however, were lost for centuries. Until now. Savae's latest CD, "Ancient Echoes," draws on texts from the Torah, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, and an ancient Greek tombstone. The music comes from research by a Jewish musicologist from the last century who demonstrated how dispersed and isolated Jews preserved ancient musical phrases for two millennia as well as from a French theorist who re-constructed the oldest form of musical notation that appears throughout the Bible. The dialect of the songs comes from an Egyptian phonetics instructor who taught members of Savae an ancient dialect spoken by Babylonian Jews and preserved to this day by Iraqi Muslims.

(My emphasis.) I hope it goes without saying that I'm linking to this out of a sociological interest in how this band is using the Dead Sea Scrolls etc., and not because I endorse their theories!

I wonder if their music is any good...

No comments:

Post a Comment