Sound Dreaming CD Blog Posts - Day 4
Day four of the Dec. 5 CD Concert Countdown brings me to writing about the 3rd piece in the program–“Sirens of the Deep”. Ah–the Sirens. I love the Sirens and have come to know these creatures who live in the mythical realm in the waters and along the shoreline. And during my journey with them through story writing, sound improvisations, leading Siren workshops, and while swimming in the waves, my experience is very different from what they’re famous for.
If you do a Google image search for the word ‘siren’, you’ll find a plethora of pictures of women as the seductress, the temptress–you know, the old Eve story in new clothes. The ‘it’s the woman’s fault’ or ‘you made me do it’ storyline being implied here. But even in this misogynist interpretation of the siren, why is it the body that’s portrayed as the seducing element? Isn’t it supposed to be the voice that’s so tempting, so alluring, so dangerous? Isn’t that why Ulysses filled his crewmen’s ears with wax– so they wouldn’t HEAR the voices? So I’m left with the question–What’s so dangerous about the voice of women anyway?
Implicit in this traditional story of Ulysses for example, there is an admission of the power of the voice itself. And yes, I want to stand by that. The voice is a unique gift that connects us deeply with our body, our soul, our core essence. But what is it about the voice that threatens so deeply? What is at the root of this fear?
In the book “Seduction And The Secret Power Of Women” by Meri Lao, she talks the historical evolution of the siren within mythology and iconography. She talks about how they symbolically represent the oceanic depths, and our origins. Their wild voices are from a deep ancient place that was driven underground during the shift to patriarchy. It’s all tied up in the fear of nature, of the body, and of women. That centuries-long struggle between christianity and the earth-based pagan ways that elevated spirit above matter, male above female.
What I’ve come to know about the Sirens is that their call is all about finding our own primal song, our own primal sounds, our primordial voice, our creation voice. The Sirensong draws us back to reconnection with ourselves, our voice, the sea, the earth, the feminine, and all created beings. That’s my intention behind “Sirens of the Deep”. To voice that call back to our origins, back to our true nature.
The recordings I used in this piece were from several different locations. Beginning with the sounds of the waves, the descent begins with soundscapes and vocalizations from within Skoteino cave in Crete, an early ritual site. Then up onto the top of a hill on Patmos Island, where I called and sounded out to the Aegean Sea beneath me while sitting amidst ruins of an abandoned acropolis. With a quick reference to sounds recorded at the Phaistos Temple Palace site in Crete, the piece concludes with improvisations I made in the Dikteon cave (Crete), attributed to be the birthplace of Zeus.
The image I’ve posted today is a photo I took of the Azure Window, located on the west side of the island of Gozo, which is part of Malta. I use this image as an invitation to imagine your own relationship with the waters, the sea, the rocks, and yes, the Sirens, and how they live inside your body, and within your own primordial song.