for violin and harp
Freya’s Tears is a companion or sister piece for another work I wrote entitled The Book of Goddesses, scored for flute, harp and percussion. Each of the movements is inspired by one of three goddesses: Iris, Freya, and Sekhmet.
In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is said to have golden wings and is associated with communication, messages and new endeavors, and travels on rainbows while carrying messages from the gods to mortals. That image in particular provided inspiration for Iris.
The second movement, Freya’s Tears, is inspired by Freya (or Freyja), one of the major goddesses of Norse Paganism. She is often described as a goddess of love, beauty and fertility. She was also associated with war, death, wealth, prophecy and magic, as well as the reading of runes, trancing and casting spells. Her most treasured possession was the Brisings’ necklace, a golden necklace crafted by four dwarfs with such artistry that it glittered like a constellation of stars in the night sky. She was married to the God Od (or Odur) who mysteriously disappeared. When she could not find him, she wept tears of gold. The tears that hit trees turned to amber, or Freya’s Tears. I try to evoke these images in the violin and harp by using harmonics, glissandi and delicate arpeggios.
The final movement, Sekhmet, is inspired by the mythological warrior goddess Sekhmet of Upper Egypt. She is depicted as having a human body with a lioness’s head, and is the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. She was viewed as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. It was also said that her breath created the desert.
The first and third movements call for an optional, specialized mute called the Kerrod mute. This mute muffles some of the strings during certain passages, creating a xylophone-like sound. It was invented and developed specifically for this piece by Jacqueline Kerrod and Marc Uys of Clockwise.
Freya’s Tears is written for and dedicated to Clockwise: Marc Uys violin and Jacqueline Kerrod, harp.