Stories to the People: Song of the Sea Raven

06/07/2021

Poster for Kea Kea Storytelling Festival 2011

This January I was supposed to tell stories in an intimate setting, but due to restrictions that was not possible. Instead I told a tale for the Norwegian Storytelling Festival’s podcast that was just released.

Kea Storytelling Festival
Song of the Sea Raven was the first storytelling performance I made in English from scratch. The year was 2011. I was at the very beginning of my international career and I had been invited to Kea Storytelling Festival in Greece. The theme that year was θάλασσα – Sea. The organizers wanted something Nordic related to that theme, and when I found the theories of Felice Vinci related to the fact that the Odyssey was supposed to have happened in the North Norwegian seas, the first seeds of the idea started to form.

Song of the Sea Raven was my first big attempt of introducing a strong element of mythopoesis into my performances, to tie different landscapes together in an intuitive and mythically led fashion.

The resulting saga was inspired by different legends, actual cave paintings, a 19th century short story, the proto legend about The Seven Sisters, and the Odyssey, of course.

The whirlpool Moskenstraumen became one of the main “characters” in the performance, the natural phenomenon that Felice Vinci connects to the sea beast Scylla.

From the premiere in 2011

When I figured out that Philip Glass’ The Maelstrom is inspired by Moskenstraumen, that song became a work tune accompanying my research process.

Epic Poetry
One of the audience members gave me a comment that has been very important for me ever since. ‘What you are trying to create is epic poetry’. That piece of valuable feedback (combined with a dose of constructive criticism) is still close to my heart and has been a guiding principle in the years that followed. Ten years have passed since the premiere. I have told Song of the Sea Raven in festivals all over Europe. And now it is also available as a podcast.

You can listen to it here, if you wish (in Norwegian, alas):

Leave a Comment

------->