The Tenth Muse
Format: COMPACT DISC
Sadigursky, Sam; Holman, Matt; Avey, Bobby; Dingman, Chris
In the ancient love poetry of the Greek lyrist Sappho, trumpet player/composer Matt Holman has found a trove of writings whose emotions and sentiments feel as timely and passionate today as they did when they were written, more than 2,500 years ago. On "the Tenth Music", Holman bridges the ancient with the modern through 16 ethereal compositions inspired by Sappho's writings. Holman's pieces take the fragmentary nature of Sappho's poetry as it has come down to us as a guide for balancing structure and improvisation, clarity and mystery. Holman initially discovered Sappho's poetry through his wife, who introduced him to the Greek poetess during the early days of courtship, the intoxicating period when every aspect of taste and personality is a new discovery. The words that survived from antiquity seemed to reflect his own feelings across a gulf-spanning millennia, while the significant portions that had been lost over time added a sense of entrancing uncertainty. "I sought to evoke the full range of themes in these fragments," Holman says. "Some are passionate and devotional, related to love, and others reflect on the awe-inspiring aspects of nature of the power of dreams. Over the course of two millenia, the human condition has remained fundamentally the same. We are still beholden to our desires, still marvel at a vast sky, still suffer over love both in its anticipation and in its loss. In this day and age, we are inundated with images and reminders of what divides us from each other. Sappho's poetry draws for us the connection between the ancient and the modern, reminding us that even something as simple as a fragment can speak to the depths of our shared humanity."