THE ODYSSEUS FANTASY

FOR HARMONICA, JAZZ TRIO, HARP AND 

STRING ORCHESTRA COMPOSED BY KARIM MAURICE, PERFORMED BY WILL GALISON

ODYSSEUES FANTASY PROMO

"CIRCE"

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CD Now available on Odradek Records

The Odyssey Fantasy, for Chromatic Harmonica, Jazz Trio and String Orchestra with harp, is a collaboration between Will Galison and composer Karim Maurice. It consists of seven movements, each a tone poem illustrating an episode in the journey of Odysseus, hero of Homer's immortal Odyssey.

The movements are titled:

"Circe":                  

 

The sorceress Circe beckons Odysseus and his crew to her island and promptly transforms the sailors into swine. Odysseus, protected by the god Hermes, is immune to her spells, but Circe is not immune to Odysseus allure, and she falls in love with him, only to be heartbroken when he and his (reconstituted) crew resume their voyage home to Ithaca. 

"Calypso Symphony":  

 

Lovely Calypso is the demi-goddess who rescues Odysseus from the raging sea of Poseidon, and being only superhuman, falls in love with the heroic warrior. Calypso offers Odysseus immortality and perpetual youth if only he will forsake Penelope and stay with her. Odysseus remains as Calypso's captive and lover for seven years, but every day he pines for for Ithaca and Penelope. Finally with a little divine intervention, Calypso is persuaded to release Odysseus and sends him homeward with her blessings. 

"Blues for Nobody"

The Cyclops Polyphemus, having captured Odysseus and his men in his cave, demands to know Odysseus' name. Odysseus replies to the dull-witted creature that his name is "Nobody". Thus, when Odysseus blinds Polyphemus, and escapes, the cyclops screams to his neighbors that "nobody" had blinded him, "nobody" has stolen his sheep. so his equally obtuse colleagues shrug their hairy shoulders and fail to come to his aid. 

"Weave and Unweave"  

 

Odysseus has been gone from Ithaca for twenty years, and his fate is unknown to his wife Penelope and the dozens of eager suitors who seek to marry her. To postpone their advances, faithful Penelope promises to choose a husband when she has completed a great tapestry, to which she weaves a new section every day. But unknown to her suitors, each night Penelope unweaves her work of the day before, clinging to the hope that Odysseus will return one day and dispatch with the suitors. 

"Song of the Sirens":  

 

Circe has warned Odysseus of the trials they will face as they continue their journey, not the least of which are the Sirens, half bird, half women who lure sailors to their dooms with their bewitching music, which no human can resist. While the crew covers their ears with wax to avoid the enchantment, Odysseus has himself lashed to the mast, and endures the Siren's song and the madness it provokes. 

"Do Not Open Aeolus' Bag":  

Poseidon's brother Aeolus, God of the wind, gives Odysseus a bag full of all the winds, so that his ships might never be stranded on a becalmed sea. Odysseus' men, suspecting that the bags contain Trojan treasure that Odysseus is hoarding, cut open the bags and  release a ferocious tempest that destroys the ship and dooms them all. Only Odysseus survives the ordeal. 

"Return to Ithaca"  

 

After his ill-fated journey of twenty years, Odysseus finally lays eyes on his beloved home Ithaca. After infiltrating his palace unrecognized, he dispatches with the suitors in a very direct manner, using a bow and arrow, swords, clubs and other weapons to teach them a lesson they will not soon forget. Finally , he reunites with his beloved Penelope, and regains his throne as King of Ithaca. 



The first section composed was "Circe", which was recorded in Lyon in 2015, with the participation of La Camerata Orchestra, directed by Gaël Reassert.  In 2016, with Circe as their submission, Karim and Will applied for, and won, a grant from the French American Jazz Exchange. The grant is financing the development of the rest of the cycle, it's recording and the subsidy of future performances.

 

Will Galison

Circe - Maurice/Galison
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Dot Not Open Aeoleus Bag - Maurice/ Galison
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Weave - Unknown Artist
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Calypso Symphony - Unknown Artist
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Blues for Nobody - Unknown Artist
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Sirens - Unknown Artist
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