We've been working on something for the last three months. Something amazing, something beautiful, something epic. We've spoken about it on the podcast, we've mentioned it on social media, but if you haven't heard... prepare to learn our secret.
Beowulf: A Mythosymphony
On September 15th, 2016 Satyr Productions, our company and the studio responsible for the LMAW podcast, will release its first full-length album. The content of that album? Beowulf. The Anglo-Saxon Epic told by Tanner Campbell, discussed with Eric DeMott, and paired with a beautifully composed score by Satyr Productions' own Nico Vettese. But this isn't an album, no. That's not the right word. This, is a mythosymphony.
What is a Mythosymphony?
Half-way through the production of Beowulf: A Mythosymphony, Eric and I determined that we didn't want to call what we were all creating an "album". An album is a collection of songs, or a collection of spoken word tracks, Beowulf was not. We were making something near-operatic; a rich production that wasn't just music and wasn't just storytelling. A production that was different from anything we'd heard of before; there was no word for what we were making.
So we made one up.
Eric, being studied in ancient Greek and Latin, was almost solely responsible for steering us towards "Mythosymphony". We knew what we were doing was in bardic tradition, that is to say we knew that it was, at it's core, rich storytelling, but "Bardic Tale" doesn't have a particularly catchy sound to it. So in the end, we decided to combine the Greek words Mythos (story) and Symphony (sound), because that made sense; Beowulf: A Mythosymphony is nothing if not a story with sound, and the "symphony" part of the whole word-mash clearly underlines exactly what sets a mythosymphony apart from traditional storytelling: a rich, concert worthy score.
Initially we didn't choose Beowulf. We wanted something epic, something old, something that told the hero's tale well and told it from its earliest beginnings - which we figured was a great place to start since we were creating a new method of storytelling. Originally we chose the Epic of Gilgamesh... but the world is a funny place full of funny copyright laws and even though the story of Gilgamesh is older than dirt, we couldn't find a good translation that wasn't copyrighted after 1923 (which is the magical date when things are considered to be in the public domain).
We were a bit dismayed by this but regrouped and continued searching, eventually deciding on... BEOWULF! And honestly, Beowulf was way cooler and more exciting than Gilgamesh, so we were kind of glad to have had that initial struggle in finding the right story for our first mythosymphony. Beowulf has giants, sea monsters, swords, bravery, honor, dragons, it has everything! It is also crazy old, over 1000 years, and is a well-established story that most everyone kind of knows and that we thought most everyone would be interested in hearing in full, as a mythosymphony.
The Three Parts of a Mythosymphony.
A mythosymphony is comprised of a unique musical score, high quality narration, and discussion tracks which help listeners to understand the story better. Discussion tracks are separate and can be skipped if the listener so desires. Part symphony, part story, part explanation, this is a mythosymphony.
When does it release and will there be more?
Beowulf: A Mythosymphony will release on September 15th, 2016 exclusively on Bandcamp.com for $9.99. We're incredibly excited to bring it to you and eager to hear your thoughts on our very first mythosymphony. If you like it, you're in luck: We plan to release a second before the end of the first quarter 2017, and one each quarter after that for as long as people enjoy them. 2017's titles are being kept a secret for now but trust us, Beowulf is just the beginning.