The original idea for Seven Sisters didn’t come from the Greek myths but from a chance visit to a nearby Neolithic burial site called Copt Hill – also locally referred to as the Seven Sisters. After visiting the site I wrote the first track – Seven Sisters.
After composing the opening track I began to read more about the Seven Sisters in Greek Mythology and about the star cluster the Pleiades.
There are several myths about the Sisters and how they became stars. One of the most memorable myths involving the Pleiades is the story of how these sisters literally became stars, their catasterism. According to some versions of the tale,… all seven sisters committed suicide because they were so saddened by either the fate of their father, Atlas, or the loss of their siblings, the Hyades. In turn Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods, immortalized the sisters by placing them in the sky. There these seven stars formed the constellation known thereafter as the Pleiades. The other story is that of the hunter Orion, who began to pursue all of the Pleiades, and Zeus transformed them first into doves, and then into stars to comfort their father. The constellation of Orion is said to still pursue them across the night sky.
…their grasp of the structure and vocabulary of intelligent ambient music is firm, and their albums are positive, enjoyable and beautiful.
Jeremy Keens – Ampersand Etcetera – Seven Sisters (2004)
A Greek demi-goddess, sometimes regarded as one of the Pleiades. More often she was thought of as the daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx, son of Eosphorus and the king of Thessaly. They were very happy together, but then Ceyx perished in a shipwreck and Alcyone threw herself into the sea. Out of compassion, the gods changed them into the halcyon birds – sometimes thought to be t…he European Kingfisher. Since Alcyone made her nest on the beach, and waves threatened to destroy it, Aeolus restrained his winds and made the waves be calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the “halcyon days”, when storms never occur. The halcyon became a symbol of tranquillity. (Ovid XI, 410). The name means something like “Queen who wards off (storms)”.
Merope lived on Chios, and was often pursued by Orion. However, Merope did not love Orion and married a mortal, Sisyphus. Since she married a mortal, she became the faintest star.
Painting Lost Pleiad (1884) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Zeus pursued Taygete and so to protect her Artemis turned her into a doe. It is also the name of one of the moons of Jupiter.
Celaeno was one the of the Harpies and in earlier versions of Greek myth, they were described as beautiful, winged maidens. Later they became winged monsters with the face of an ugly old woman and equipped with crooked, sharp talons. They were represented carrying off persons to the underworld and inflicting punishment or tormenting them.
ASTEROPE was a Naiad Nymph. There is some discussion as to the real mythology but she was either the wife of the Trojan prince Aisakos (Aesacus), or a Nymphe who fleeing his amorous advance stepped on a venomous snake and died. Her name translated from the Greek is starry eyed or … of the evening. There is a beautiful butterfly that has the name Asterope Hewitsoni.
MAIA was the eldest of the Pleiades, the seven nymphs of the constellation Pleiades. She was a shy goddess who dwelt alone in a cave, where she secretly gave birth to Hermes, the son of Zeus. She also raised the boy Arkas in… her cave, whose mother Kallisto had been transformed into a bear. Consequently, Maia is often thought of as “the nursing mother” and associated with Gaia – “the Earth”. She has been referred to as the earth-goddess Gaia Maia (Mother Earth).
Electra means “amber,” “shining,” and “bright.” According to one legend, she was the lost Pleiad, disappearing in grief after the destruction of Troy.
I tried in this track to imagine the Seven Sisters in stately procession before they escaped up into the night sky.
In Australian Aboriginal art and culture there is the Milky Way Dreaming, where the seven sisters, …the stars of the constellation Taurus (Pleiades), were chased across the sky by a Jakamarra man
represented by the morning star in Orion’s Belt. He tried to catch them but the seven sisters continually elude him. This is very similar to the Greek Myth.
Trying to escape from Orion, the Seven Sisters were turned into doves by Zeus to escape but they flew so high they eventually became stars.