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by fourlarks

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...οἱ δέ σ' ἀοιδοὶ ᾄδομεν ἀρχόμενοι λήγοντές τ', οὐδέ πῃ ἔστι σεῖ' ἐπιληθομένῳ ἱερῆς μεμνῆσθαι ἀοιδῆς. (…It is you that we sing to, from beginning to end. In your name is the memory of every sacred song)
αἰνότατον δ' ἐνιαυτὸν ἐπὶ χθόνα πουλυβότειραν ποίησ' ἀνθρώποις καὶ κύντατον, οὐδέ τι γαῖα σπέρμ' ἀνίει: κρύπτεν γὰρ ἐϋστέφανος Δημήτηρ …Then she caused a most terrible year, for those all across the inhabited earth. Not a single seed could sprout to the surface; Demeter, once richly-crowned, kept them hidden.
hymn to gaia 04:45
Γαῖαν παμμήτειραν ἀείσομαι ἠϋθέμεθλον πρεσβίστην, ἣ φέρβει ἐπὶ χθονὶ πάνθ' ὁπόσ' ἐστίν I sing out to the Earth, the mother of all, from upon her noble foundation. She feeds everything that has ever existed in the world from her open hand…
ὃς φαίνει θνητοῖσι καὶ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσιν ἵπποις ἐμβεβαώς: σμερδνὸν δ' ὅ γε δέρκεται ὄσσοις χρυσῆς ἐκ κόρυθος… He illuminates both men, who must die, and the Gods, who are deathless As he proceeds across the sky, his piercing eyes glare from under his helmet of gold…
τὸν δ' οὐκ ἴσχανε δεσμά, λύγοι δ' ἀπὸ τηλόσ' ἔπιπτον χειρῶν ἠδὲ ποδῶν: ὁ δὲ μειδιάων ἐκάθητο ὄμμασι κυανέοισι… (…The bonds couldn’t hold him! As the ropes unraveled, a smile spread across his face, from his ocean-colored eyes…)
λαμπρόταταί τ' αὐγαὶ τότ' ἀεξομένης τελέθουσιν οὐρανόθεν: τέκμωρ δὲ βροτοῖς καὶ σῆμα τέτυκται (From a great height she beams brightest; a steadfast sign for all mortals, a marker for them)
Αἰδεῖσθε ξενίων κεχρημένον ἠδὲ δόμοιο (Show respect to the stranger in need of hospitality…)


released May 18, 2022

Produced by Matt Orenstein (Mixing), Mat Sweeney (Music Direction), & James Vitz-Wong (Editing, Engineering, & Additional Mixing)

Recorded by the performers at their homes, facilitated by James Vitz-Wong
Mastered by Brendan Byrnes

Songs by Mat Sweeney, Hymns to Dionysus 1, Gaia, Helios, & Xenoi composed with Ellen Warkentine, with Lyrical collaboration from Jesse Rasmussen and additional dramaturgy by Sebastian Peters-Lazaro

Arranged in collaboration with the performers:
Principal Arrangements by Yvette Cornelia Holzwarth (strings), Matt Orenstein (strings, mix), Mat Sweeney, Ellen Warkentine, and James Waterman (percussion)
Additional Arrangements by Lu Coy, Danny Echevarria, Philip Graulty, Sharon Chohi Kim, Jett Kwong Kelly, Lukas Papenfusscline, Tom Peyton, Prudence Rees-Lee, Theodosia Roussos, Lisa Salvo, & James Vitz-Wong

*These songs are inspired by a sequence of praise poems composed by a lineage of bards and poets over several centuries in ancient Greece and historically attributed to Homer. In writing these adaptations of the Hymns we consulted and drew upon an array of translations of the Homeric Hymns including those by Hugh Evelyn-White, Peter McDonald, Gregory Nagy, Diane Rayor, and Sarah Ruden

Passages of the original hymn were selected in consultation with and pronunciation coached by Dr. Kathryn Morgan (UCLA Classics Department)


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fourlarks Los Angeles, California

four larks make junkyard operas in secret locations.

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