Ancient Journeys

In today’s pro­gramme, we’ll be tak­ing a musi­cal jour­ney through ancient worlds, from Greece and Rome, to the Amer­i­c­as, the South Pacif­ic, Antar­ti­ca – and even the Moon.

On this day (or pos­si­bly tomor­row) in 64AD the great fire began that destroyed much of the city of Rome over the ensu­ing two weeks. The Emper­or Nero, often claimed to have been “fid­dling while Rome burned”, or at least play­ing the lyre, was in fact away at Antium, and accord­ing to Tac­i­tus, on his return opened up many remain­ing Impe­r­i­al build­ings and lands for the refugees from the fire, and dropped the price of wheat to help them. But the rumour had already spread that he had watched the city burn, and he gained no thanks for his efforts. It was sug­gest­ed that he had arranged for the city to be set to flame to enable him to rebuild it to his spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

A few days away, on 24 July, is the anniver­sary of the dis­cov­ery by West­ern­ers of the lost city of Mac­chu Pic­chu in the Andes in 1911.

Thus today we will be trav­el­ling ancient and dis­tant worlds, guid­ed by the ancient Piri Reis Map, thanks to the E S Posthu­mus album Car­tog­ra­ph­er, a mar­vel­lous sym­phon­ic album with lyrics that appear to be in Latin or Esperan­to, but may in fact be a vocal melis­ma like that found in Karl Jenk­in­s’s Adiemus albums, where words are used for their sound rather than their mean­ing. (And as we’re tak­ing an extend­ed voy­age today, we’ll be hear­ing the lat­ter’s Imag­ined Oceans today too.)

We will also touch the shores of Antar­ti­ca with Vaugh­an Williams, ancient South Amer­i­ca with Cus­co, the South Pacif­ic with Jalan Jalan, the Sev­en Won­ders of the Ancient World with Stu­art Mitchell, and the land of the Cathars with Chris­t­ian Sales. We’ll even vis­it the Moon with both Lau­rie John­son and Mannheim Steam­roller, and dis­cov­er ancient peo­ples with Hans Zim­mer. And, of course, a great deal more. The music is large­ly, but not exclu­sive­ly, instru­men­tal, with con­ven­tion­al and elec­tron­ic instru­men­ta­tion. We do hope you enjoy the jour­ney.

And don’t for­get to join us for the lat­est in our series The Black Mass at 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic (7pm and 3am UK time).

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress