Norse Mythology


Our current project is a Norse Mythology themed song cycle focusing on the death of Baldur.  Viking legends present a uniquely harsh and inhospitable cosmos, reflecting the harsh conditions of life in medieval Iceland and Norway, and this song cycle seeks to highlight the metaphysical and moral aspects that make Norse Myth so different from other European pagan traditions.  The songs in the cycle fit together to form a narrative, beginning with the creation of the world and dramatizing the disastrous consequences of the falling-out between the Allfather Odin and his blood-brother Loki.

Finished Pieces:

Our composer, Ada, is an historian, and in composing the music, lyrics and stories for Sundown she draws directly on the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, the two oldest primary sources of Norse mythology, as well as other supplementary texts and sources on Viking culture.  Individual song pages discuss the particular sources of each piece, but the composer is always happy to answer questions and supply details if you drop her an e-mail.

Composer’s Comment: I often get asked for recommendations for further reading from people interested in learning more about Norse mythology and Viking culture. If you want to learn more , I can recommend the following books (and if you order them through these links we get five cents!) The first two are my preferred translations of the Eddas, the second a very solid Norse Myth encyclopedia, and the last two are children’s books, which, despite their intended audience, do a stunning job presenting the basic stories in a clear and very accurate way.  There frankly is no better introductory Norse Myth book than D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths.

Also, if you are fortunate enough to read French or Italian, the Viking themed Vinland Saga is one of the great masterpieces of manga, and a stunning piece of modern Viking literature, but there’s no sign of an English edition.