Music in the Age of the Pyramids
Natural Acoustic Recordings
The CD, Music in the Age of the Pyramids, the first in a series of recordings, represents the first attempt at a reconstruction of the music of Ancient Egypt.
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The research carried out by the musicologist Rafael Pérez Arroyo has led to the identification of a series of responsorial and antiphonal hymns within the body of Pharaonic liturgical texts. This, together with a precise phonetic reconstruction of the Ancient Egyptian language and the author’s detailed study of the legacy of Coptic and Ethiopian liturgical music, has made possible this first attempt at reconstructing the music of Ancient Egypt.
For the first time, replicas of ancient Pharaonic musical instruments reconstructed during the research were used in this recording. Among them are replicas of various flutes conserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, two Old Kingdom curved harps which vanished 4000 years ago (reconstructed thanks to sponsorship from Sony España), clappers (the forerunners of castanets), frame drums, rattles and handclapping groups.
All of this has resulted in a recording of great beauty which recreates the sounds of the Ancient Egyptian scales and the meditative nature of a repertoire unrevealed until today. It is performed by the Hathor Ensemble, conducted by Rafael Pérez Arroyo.
The Hathor Ensemble, formed by Rafael Pérez Arroyo to perform repertoires of ancient music, is comprised of singers and instrumentalists of different nationalities: Bulgarian, Chinese, Spanish, Georgian, Japanese and Russian. These musicians come from places where there is continued use of particular tuning methods, ancient vocal techniques, and percussion, wind and string instruments similar to those used in antiquity. The ensemble, under the direction of Rafael Pérez Arroyo, offers a unique quality of musical performance perfectly suited to this type of millenary music.
Replicas of ancient Pharaonic musical instruments reconstructed during the research are used for the first time in this performance, together with handclapping rhythm groups and the phonetic reconstruction of the Ancient Egyptian language in the vocal repertoires from the different periods. The philologist José María de Diego Muñiz provided this phonetic reconstruction. Particularly interesting are two Old Kingdom curved harps which vanished 4000 years ago (reconstructed thanks to sponsorship from Sony España, S. A.), various flutes conserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, clappers (the forerunners of castanets), frame drums and rattles
Members of the ensemble:
Yang Yang Deng, Helia Martínez, Marta Bornaechea, Marina Makhmoutova, Marta Infante, Miren Astui, Daniela Vladimirova, Esperanza García-Salmones, Miguel Bernal, Javier Rodríguez
Harpists: Yoshie Sakai, Noemí Martínez,
Pharaonic flute : Juan Carlos Gómez Delgado
Argul: Xavi Lozano Percusión: Pedro Estevan, Sergei Saprytcheff, David Mayoral
Palmas: Cristina Villaplana, María Martín, Cecilia Lizcano, Begoña Castro, Locución: Estela Aranda