Dave Soldier
"The Eight Hour of Amduat"

Dave Soldie - The Eighth Hour of Amduat
Ship my order to:

$13.99 | CD | Catalog #MUL035

listen on Youtube

listen on Spotify

listen on Apple Music

listen on Bandcamp

Featuring the great Marshall Allen, long-time leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra in the title part, this opera for mezzosoprano, choir, improvising soloists, orchestra and electronics is adapted from the earliest surviving illustrated book and sound score. The opera was devloped with Professor Rita Lucarelli, Egyptologist at University of California, Berkley.

The Book of the Amduat is painted on walls in the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and many papyri, and we use the version in Tuthmose III's tomb, who ruled Egypt from 1485-1431 BC. He is widely thought to be the Pharaoh of Exodus: if it wasn't him, it was a close relative. He co-ruled at first with the female Pharaoh, Hatsepsut, and was great grandfather to Akhenaten. He built the obelisks known as Cleopatra's Needle, one of which is on the Thames in London, and the other is near East 81st street in Central Park in New York City.

Each morning, Sun Ra emerges from a hole in the east and sails on a river through our sky. After he descends he continue from west to east on the river through the underworld, the Amudat, to reemerge in the morning. Each night he dies, but is reborn in the 6th night hour when he unites with Osiris and defeats the serpent, Apep.

The piece takes place during the 8th hour of the night, Mistress of deep night, in the city of the 8th hour, Sarcophagus of her gods. Sun Ra and his companions on the boat are being hauled by a choir on the underworld river. During the hour they are clothed and encounter other gods who live in ten caverns along the shore, along with living knives who defeat their enemies and four sacred rams. By earliest sound score, I mean that the specific sounds from each group of gods in each cavern of the city are described quite literally during the trip.

Based in part on Colleen Manassa's article Sounds of the Netherworld, the translations of the arias to Italian and insights are from Rita Lucarelli.The score can be accessed from www.davesoldier.com.

The gods of the underworld:
Marshall Allen, Sun Ra, saxophone & electronic valve instrument (EVI)
Sahoko Sato Timpone, Mistress of the Boat, Mezzosoprano
Rebecca Cherry, Horus of Fragrance, violin
Dan Blacksberg, Wepwawet, trombone
Nick Millevoi, Sia, guitar
Michael Winograd, Nehes, C clarinet
Enrique Rivera-Matos, Hu, tuba

Adam Vidiksis, Conductor
Akhmed Manedov, violin
Juana Pinilla Paez, violin
Olivia Gusmano, viola
Carolina Diazgronados, cello
Dani Bash, harp
Anthony di Bartolo, percussion
Thomas Kolakowski, percussion
Dave Soldier, water bowls, electronics, composer (2016)

Chace Simmonds-Frith, Natasha Thweatt, Sophie Laruelle, Xiaoming Tian, Eugene Sirotkine, Alicia Waller, Melinda Learnard, Sahoko Sato Timpone,

Few recordings especially in the difficult style of opera (after Wagner) are more viscerally exciting with such an outstanding cast and vital sound. - JazzdaGama

t's difficult to put into a few words exactly what this record emulates, it might well be that it doesn't sound like anything else, ever. However, the instrumentation and arrangements are both imaginative and at times brilliant. This is not a work to be regarded lightly but rather it's a brave and bold contemporary composition ironically based on the very oldest one.

Of the many terrific musicians featured on the record, the outsized presence from the jazz world is without question Marshall Allen, who is assigned the role of the sun god himself: Sun Ra. Who else could do the part justice, after all, but the fabled sideman of the original Jazz Egyptologist himself, Sonny Blount? Now in his early nineties, Allen continues to amaze with his cosmically-inspired alto playing, and his contributions throughout the opera support the music's navigation between the spheres of classical and jazz. "Ra Dances with Rams" is exemplary in this regard: one of the highlights of the program, it is a riveting piece, with frenetic strings complementing Allen's squeals and the rest of the horns in a furious, delightful romp.- All About Jazz

Many more reviews are available in this Booklet of press quotes