Thursday, 7 December 2006

An Ancient Muse Explained

Loreena's new album, as I announced earlier, has been released. You can find more information about the CD, including small track samples and complete lyrics on the Quinlan Road website. There is also an exquisite album-themed wallpaper available, as well as the text of the entire CD booklet. This booklet also explains the use of the title kecharitomene for one of the songs, something which had greatly puzzled me. The text for that track reads:

Urumchi, China, October 2003
I have just seen some of the red-haired Tarim Basin mummies, which date back to 1000 BC and who, some argue, could be from the peoples who were the precursors of the Celts. Did they follow the Silk Road this far north?

Stratford, Ontario, June 2005
Reading Susan Whitfield’s Life Along the Silk Road,which profiles the many people, religions and cultures that populated the countless threads of what we call the Silk Road – nuns, soldiers, merchants – in a slow fusion of cultures from 500 BC to about 1400 AD. In the core of this period the Celts roamed, sacked Delphi and inspired St. Paul to write his Letters to the Galatians; the events known as the Crusades came and went, along with those who fought in them, from Richard the Lionheart to Saladin. Clearly there is much more history to be understood, but from whose vantage point?

Real World Studios, Wiltshire, May 2006
My attention has been brought to Anna Comnena, a Byzantine princess and possibly the first female historian of the West, who observed society, politics, war and peace from her position at the intersection of Byzantine, Western and Muslim cultures…She was a major chronicler of the First Crusade and ended her days in a convent called Kecharitomene (Greek for “full of grace”).

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