Review Summary: Celestial
It's commonly accepted that childhood memories contribute vastly in the shaping of our personality and determine the provision of our psyche, our character and - ultimately -of what we are. My deeper relation with Vangelis's music and the proportionate influence it has on me, can be rooted back to the unending hours I've spent enjoying it. It was fourteen years ago, more than half of my life, when my parents decided to present me with this piece of music. Now, after deliberate thought, I have come to the conclusion that what Vangelis offered the world in 2001 is the most superior creation in music that mankind has to suggest. No opus that preceded it managed to reach it's heights, no opus that followed has succeeded in surpassing its greatness.
But let's take it from the beginning. Vangelis had already composed the pieces since 1993, in – what he claims – was merely an hour. The title was inspired by the greek words ''Mythos'' and ''Ode'', that were fused together. The work was shorter, with little capabilities due to the limited means he had to work with. Eight years had to go by until NASA chose this work among others of his, to accompany the mission to the red planet, Mars. Then, the composer had the chance to slightly alter it, by adding two more pieces, extending two others and touching upon chorus and music alike. With the support of the Greek government and NASA, the choral symphony was recorded in Greece's Music Hall (Megaro Moussikis), involving Vangelis, two harpists, the 75-person London Metropolitan Orchestra, the 120-person chorus of the Greek National Opera, as well as Greek Percussion ensembles. The two main vocalists are sopranos Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, who cooperate into crafting brilliant vocal landscapes.
This short chronicle provides no information about the process of composition or what does the music sound like. What it actually does, is inform us about its significance. A symphony that glorious that was thought worthy of representing human civilization in outer space.
All the above are insignificant to me. I would adore Mythodea whether it was renamed or not. No matter how many years have passed, I still feel the tissue of my existence being degraded, and each filament being connected to cosmic fibers. Suddenly, time and space cease to exist, images from the past condencing the substance of stars and space, project directly in my mind.
The music of Mythodea cannot be described with words, especially by such a die hard fan like me. Every note, instrument and voice is so very carefully set and aligned with the others so as to reflect the unbearable vastness of space, of this infinite goliath and each and every mystery it encloses,unfolding the powers that eternally make the world around us. Everything can be lived through this musical piece.
The symphony is divided into Movements. At times we can distinguish behind the music or as the main sound an uproar, a cosmic sound that contributes in the making of atmosphere. Under the right circumstances, Mythodea will get you aboard a boat that will consign to the ancient universal oblivion, the supreme unknown!
Quite interesting is the fact that Vangelis chose not to write any real lyrics,but rather pseudolyrics, a distinctive technique of his. Words that mean nothing, pure nonsense that were selected just for their sound , creating an amusing sound pareidolia, that has led listeners worldwide to many assumptions and misunderstandings about the cryptic and mystical meaning of Mythodea.
I could go on and on talking about this masterpiece. It has been the axis for all my musical journeys and explorations. It has defined my tastes not only in music, but in the way I want to experience world, thus my love for it is completely expected. And even if it makes me realize the truth about my insignificance in the universe, it's good to know I am able to be reunited with it through this spectacular opus.