The Five Muses – Director’s statement

My inspiration for writing The Five Muses came mostly from the myths and music from Ukraine and ancient Greece. I made this film while attending the University of Manitoba as a graduate student in Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Italy). My thesis topic, The Musical Revolution in Fifth-Century Greece, put me in close contact with several of the key inspirations of the film. Further, for the last few years I have been playing drums with Ukrainian bands which put me in touch with Ukrainian myths and music.

The first inspiration comes from the myths and music from ancient Greece. The five muses are drawn from the nine Muses of Greek myth, each named after their respective craft be it singing, dancing, playing music or other. All of the Greek Muses were female, and so I made my Muses female. I was also inspired to name the characters through a combination of ancient Greek words, e.g. “Euaida” means “good singer,” “Kitharoida” means “guitar singer.” The use of music to enchant someone is also taken from my study of ancient Greece. In particular, the ancient Greeks had studied music with a view to determining its power and its effect on the human soul, especially the moral and ethical aspects, which modern scholars call the “concept of musical ethos.”

The second inspiration is found in Ukrainian myths and music. In Ukrainian myth, there is a story of a musical competition in which three musicians vie for the attention of a beautiful young woman. Each musician tries to attract the young woman by playing for her: one plays drums, another the guitar, and the last the sopilka (a Ukrainian wind instrument, much like the modern recorder). Lastly, modern Ukrainian music played a large role in the development of the story. I chose the number five to represent the number of members in the band I was playing in at the time, Zrada Cultural Academy. We wrote a song called Natasha that has an exciting violin melody that always brought to mind old, silent-era films. I wanted to make the film look as if it was made in the early days of cinema. For that effect, Josh (cinematographer) and I to used a Keystone Criterion 16mm camera and black and white film stock.

And so with the inspirations from the myths and music from Ukraine and ancient Greece I wrote this story. I hope you enjoy it!



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One Response to “The Five Muses – Director’s statement”

  1. The Five Muses Online Release « S.O. Blog Says:

    […] posted a director’s statement and some production notes, and you can read about the technical specs here. But to watch it, you […]

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