Stephanie Quinn | Saqqara Suite (Inside the Great Pyramid)

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New Age: Spiritual Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Saqqara Suite (Inside the Great Pyramid)

by Stephanie Quinn

Concert violinist performs her solo and vocal compositions. After mastering this album of Quinn’s compositions, two-time Emmy Award winning composer and Grammy nominated Master Engineer, Tom Spahn concludes, “This music is like a compass carrying the listener to the center of pitch. Stephanie brings to pitch what Heifetz brings to music.” Chamber music based on the opuses recorded in the Great Pyramid complete the album. The use of innovative bow techniques and creative intonation make this music emotionally provocative. Vibrant, dramatic, innovative, ancient, music.
Genre: New Age: Spiritual
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dawn of Consciousness
6:10 $0.99
2. Arising Life
6:52 $0.99
3. Joy of Being
3:47 $0.99
4. Emergence of Beauty
11:48 $0.99
5. Dance of the Animals, Pt. 1
4:48 $0.99
6. Dance of the Animals, Pt. 2
2:57 $0.99
7. Finding Common Ground
3:03 $0.99
8. Nomadic Hymns
11:00 $0.99
9. Oneness, Pt. 1
5:11 $0.99
10. Oneness, Pt. 2
4:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Kay Larson, author of Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists, states, “It’s magnificent! Wow, so beautiful! Elusive, too, and exhilarating and spooky. I love this channeling violin. This CD is now my favorite car-travel soundtrack. It seems to condense so many feelings about space and time and distance (temporal, linear, imaginative). The acoustics are surreal.”

The inspiration for SAQQARA SUITE is drawn directly from my peace activism in Israel, my dance study, and classical training at the Eastman School of Music.

• In 2007 the three ensemble scores from this album were favorably reviewed and submitted to the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for consideration to be performed as part of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, were Chicago to win its bid to host the games. This trilogy contains a dramatic narrative which shows humanity’s right to free expression, the struggle to overcome prejudice, and a solution for deeper understanding.

• The remainder of this album, solo violin and voice, (about 40 minutes), was recorded in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid.


My dear listeners,

My SAQQARA SUITE adventure began in New York City. I had a series of educational dreams, which seemed to be from ancient times. Out of curiosity, I followed the musical ideas in the dreams and practiced them with people off the streets. I was also told to go to Israel. So I did.

On December 31, 1986, many gathered to participate in the most comprehensive prayer activity in history. It was called World Peace Day. When I arrived in Israel, no one was organizing the event in Jerusalem. So I assumed that role and succeeded in convincing folks of different religions to join me. Over 500 million people in more than 70 countries participated. I shall never forget that precious afternoon.

Thereafter, I offered my newly tested workshop to Jews and Palestinians. I learned once again that we all have an innate capacity for expressing love and creating music. Music is the universal language that breaks down barriers. It activates the loving impulses of our hearts and is an essential pathway to harmony and peace.

Months later, I dreamed I was in modern day Egypt with my violin, exploring the sound architectures in the temples. Soon after, I met Fadel Gad, noted Egyptologist and archeologist. Fadel explained, “Saqqara is the oldest complex designed by Imhotep, the Egyptian architect and physician, who utilized sound as a healing tool. It is also the center of the fifth chakra, located on the Nile and the hometown of the god Ptah, the creator of melody and toning. One of the names for Ptah is Hugh, which means Sound. Sound is what created the world.” I knew Imhotep also built the Step Pyramid in Saqqara, which is 14 miles from the Great Pyramid.

A last minute cancellation occurred. I joined 75 others on Fadel Gad’s tour of Egypt, culminating with the first Harmonic Convergence on August 16 -17, 1987. The album cover photographs were taken during those 48 hours.* I explored the Dream Stela between the paws of the Sphinx before I played in a cultural exchange concert. The large audience lingered afterwards, so I led them in a multi-lingual song circle. I was interrupted for an interview by a reporter from the Daily News Egypt (Al-Ahram). Then Fadel escorted me to the stone and steel entrance to the Great Pyramid and locked me inside for my safety. I then crawled through the tunnels to reach the King’s Chamber.

This is where I recorded the solo version of SAQQARA SUITE. The unique acoustics supported the musical expression of my feelings, since exploring Saqqara during the tour. I experienced a deep stillness that expanded beyond my body until I was playing the pyramid as my instrument.

While living in the North Shore of Chicago, I listened to my pyramid music. I imagined it with many instruments. I was so excited. I spent weeks, non-stop, composing an orchestral embellishment of “Dance of the Animals”, “Nomadic Hymns” and “Oneness.” I named my trilogy Saqqara’s Story. These opuses contain a dramatic dance narrative which shows humanity’s right to free expression, the struggle to overcome prejudice, and a solution for deeper understanding.

In 2007, the trilogy and its message were favorably reviewed and submitted to the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for consideration to be performed as part of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, were Chicago to win its bid to host the games. Although Chicago didn’t win the bid, the recognition was encouraging.

After moving to Asheville, North Carolina, Jason DeCristofaro approved my score of Saqqara’s Story to be performed June 19, 2015 in his Asheville Composers Concert. At long last, I was to hear my music performed by professionals. You will hear these talented musicians on this album. **

It is my intention for this work to be choreographed and performed live on stage, scored in films, and other media. After listening to this music, you are welcome to respond. You may also obtain the back-story by requesting a copy of "Twenty-nine Egyptian Hours". I can be reached through my website at or by email.

--Stephanie Quinn
Asheville, North Carolina

*Photo Credits: Frederic Neema (front cover), Stephanie Quinn and Mark Sluder (back cover)
**Musicians: Taya Ricker, John Malloy (violins), Jan Daugherty (viola), Frances Duff (cello), Jason DeCristofaro (timpani), and Victoria Nelson (snare drum)

My teachers: William Browning, Charlie Castleman, Malcolm Stewart, Felix Galimir, and Gerardo Ribeiro
Creative consultants: Jennifer Glaser, Jeffrey Ben Berman, Todd Mueller and James Oliverio
People who encouraged me: Fadel Gad, Sidney Friedman, Mary Ann LaJoie, Gary Matts and Jason DeCristofaro
Thank you Christopher M. Brown for digitally archiving the original King Chamber recordings, Jeff Skolnick for recording the ensemble, and Tom Spahn for restoring and mastering all the recorded music.

In Memory Of Grace Rossman, My Beloved Great Aunt
©Quinn2017, ASCAP



to write a review

Elizabeth Till

Stephanie Quinns SAQQARA Suite is unbelievably beautiful and utterly mysterious at the same time.... a contemporary masterpiece!

Peter Manera Manse

Echoes of the Past
This album is chilling, soothing and often exciting. The reverberations of the pyramid where is was recorded bring to Stephanie Quinn's music and performance the eerie feeling that they are being projected from a very distant past. For me one piece in particular (Nomadic Hymns) I find to be not just absorbing but exciting. Other pieces such as parts one and two of Oneness are creatively stunning. A well-deserved round of applause to Stephanie.

Nathan Shirley

Music from the Great Pyramid
It's not often you find new music, or new art in general, that is truly creative. Creativity seems to be in short supply these days. Even more rare is finding something both creative AND effective -- that's what Ms. Quinn has managed to accomplish here. There's a strong folk element in the music presented on this album, but it doesn't at all come across as derivative or imitative, it's very eclectic yet unique, living in a special place all of its own. Recommended!

Thomas Crowe

Suite is Sweet!
Where has this musician/artist Stephanie Quinn and this recording been hiding? Many years ago when Paul Horn released his unique album Inside the Great Pyramid I was one of that recordings biggest fans. But Stephanie Quinn has taken what Horn did back then and taken it to another level. The quality and resonance of her siren-like vocals and her violin improvisations combined with the reverb-like acoustics of the Kings Chamber in the Great Pyramid in Giza, is jaw-dropping., mesmerizing, hypnotic.. If it had been released back when she actually recorded this session back in 1987, it would have secured her career. Made her a New Age indie jazz superstar. But we're lucky to have it now and to experience the digital remix of this amazing 'concert'. Sometimes magic happens when one least expects it and some kind of magic clearly happened in 1987 when Stephanie Quinn was sitting that day inside that ancient room in Egypt with all the parts and all the elements coming together and creating a haunting, yet celebratory experience. Now, we, too, can have that experience due to the release earlier this year of Saqqara Suite. If there is one bit of criticism I would add to all the accolades above, it would be a comment about the editing of the CD itself. Had I been the producer of this CD I'd have kept the Ensemble pieces and the pyramid solo pieces separate. Made two separate CDs. While the ensemble pieces here are first class, they are not truly compatible with the inside-the-pyramid tracks, which are clearly the stars of this CD. The solo tracks by themselves would have made a big splash in the music industry and in the eyes and ears of the public. But this one small oversight in terms of production and marketing aside, Stephanie Quinn has delivered to us a winner. Something as rare as a Hope Diamond in a world practically devoid of such gems.