Our Chair took to the keyboard in June to talk about one of his latest obsessions – EPIC: The Musical.
In January 2021, Jorge Herrans-Rivera announced that he was making a musical adapting Homer’s Odyssey. Anyone who knows me knows that if there are three things I love, they’re Greek mythology, musicals, and musicals about Greek mythology. I was already simping over Hadestown, and then EPIC entered the picture
EPIC is split into nine sagas, with two currently available digitally as concept albums: The Troy Saga and The Cyclops Saga. Through these albums, we’re given a sense of the characters – heroes and gods alike – through musical cues and techniques, recurring melodies, and lyrics that – as the kids say – slap.
We kick off The Troy Saga with The Horse and the Infant, launching us into the invasion of Troy and introducing listeners to EPIC’s hero, Odysseus. When the battle is won (spoiler alert for The Iliad and The Odyssey I guess?), Odysseus and his 600 men begin their journey home.
The Troy Saga introduces us to Athena and Polites as two significant relationships in the story, and through the Lotus Eaters sets us up for The Cyclops Saga, and the first major monster of the story. This coincides with the introduction of Odysseus’s pride as a significant theme in the longer narrative, and as well as the ruthlessness that’s required of him in the adaptation.
I now eagerly await the next concept albums, with the Ocean and Circe Sagas finishing recording in early February.