Michael Atherton

Ankh: The Sound of Ancient Egypt

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The concept for this album came when composer/multi-instrumentalist Michael Atherton was commissioned to produce a creative reconstruction of ancient Egyptian music for an exhibition at the Australian Museum. Atherton took it one step further, pursuing a long-term research project of which this entrancing CD is the result. By studying literary and visual records as well as surviving artifacts, he began to get an idea of which instruments had been used in ancient Egypt, then approached the compositions by drawing on his experience with medieval monophony, Eastern European and Turkish folk music, and a variety of intercultural projects. Scholarly though all this may sound, the music on Ankh teems with mystical passion, with hypnotic melodies that wrap you in their webs and won't let go. Is it authentic? Who knows? But it's definitely effective.

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