Diane Edgecomb | Deirdre of the Sorrows

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Spoken Word: Storytelling Spoken Word: With Music Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Deirdre of the Sorrows

by Diane Edgecomb

This classic Irish love story weaves together Druidic prophecies, a jealous king and a forbidden passion so profound it dares to defy the fates.
Genre: Spoken Word: Storytelling
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Deirdre
0:45 album only
2. At the Feast of Samhain
4:49 album only
3. The Druid's Prophecy
4:58 album only
4. Under Lavarcham's Care
2:29 album only
5. The Vision
3:38 album only
6. Deirdre and Naoise Meet
6:54 album only
7. Jorney to Alba
2:05 album only
8. Hidden Glens
3:00 album only
9. Return to Emain Macha
4:31 album only
10. Betrayal at the Red Branch
4:41 album only
11. The Chariot Ride
3:31 album only
12. Deirdre (reprise)
1:47 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Deirdre is Ireland’s most beloved romance; a haunting legend of love and betrayal set in the turbulent world of the pre-Christian Celts. Diane Edgecomb’s powerful re-telling is underscored by composer Tom Megan using both original and traditional melodies. Long-time collaborator, Margot Chamberlain accompanies the spoken word performance on Celtic harp. In 1905, Charles Squire said, “Gaelic romance is summed up in the one word, ‘Deirdre.’” Set in a landscape of earthen fortresses and tribal conflicts, Deirdre is said to be based on true events that happened around 1000 BC. Called one of the three sorrows of storytelling by the Irish bards, it was one of three tragic tales that a shenachie (Celtic storyteller) must be able to relate. Over time many versions of this haunting tale have made their way into Celtic storytelling and literature. Most of the adaptations avoided the searing imagery and cultivated a tamer version that prettified the ending. There was only one source that kept the edge of the original - a visceral tension that hovered between sweetness and cruelty. This was The Tain or Cattle Raid- the oldest vernacular epic in Western literature. Diane’s version is based solidly on Thomas Kinsella's translation of The Tain. The presence of the druid, the divine rights of the high king, the harshness of the life and the taboos hidden in the geis (a sworn promise given) are drawn from this version and from Diane s extensive research into the life and world of the pre-Christian Celts.

May/June 2005 Storytelling World Honors Award in the category of best Storytelling Recordings -- Storytelling World / Storytelling Magazine

"To see Diane Edgecomb perform Deirdre of the Sorrows, accompanied by Margot Chamberlain on the Celtic harp, is to watch poetry in motion. Hearing this haunting story on this exquisite recording conjures up images of both beauty and horror, leaving the listener breathless. Do not plan on listening to this recording and then going back to business as usual. It may take a while to recover composure.
Edgecomb and Chamberlain first met to work on Deirdre in 1989. The hauntingly beautiful musical arrangements by composer Tom Megan and Edgecomb's extensive research into the life and world of the pre-Christian Celts have produced an unforgettable adaptation of this ancient tale.
The name Deirdre means sorrow, and sorrow is what she brings to all who love her. Though Deirdre is raised to become the queen, she has visions of the man she will love, and she holds onto her dream until she finally meets him in the flesh. Edgecomb skillfully paints their forbidden love affair in a way that makes us feel we are spying on secret lovers who do not know that we are there. Chamberlain's Harp takes us back in time, and we cannot help but get caught up in the passion. The intensity between the two young lovers is palpable and real. We do not doubt their love for an instant.
Of course, only sorrow can follow such an all-consuming love. Omens of betrayal and tragedy appear throughout the story, and we know that it will not end well. This story is timed perfectly to rise and fall with the crescendo of the harp. The characters are distinct and vivid. They will visit you in your dreams. Even though they break your heart, you will not be able to let go of them." -- Linda Goodman "Storyteller"

"The music of Diane Edgecomb's story-telling, and the drama of Margot Chamberlain's harp-music engaged my attention and admiration from the opening of "Deirdre" to its conclusion. Together they paint images and moods from mysterious to romantic, from comic to tragic, from delight to despair. The tale is gripping, and Tom Megan's music as played by Margot punctuates and supports Diane's characters and narratives - portraying not only emotions and actions, but images from sparkling stars to rolling seas. This recording is not only moving and impressive, but also enduring - because I keep remembering it from time to time. Bravo and Thank You to all the artists involved." -- Cynthia Price-Glynn, Chair, Harp Department at the Boston Conservatory and Principal Harpist, Boston Ballet



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