Descent Into the Maelstrom



Availability ended 11/18/2020 EST
Philip Glass and Edgar Allan Poe meet in the Arctic Circle of Norway
In 1841 Edgar Allan Poe wrote the short story "Descent Into the Maelstrom". A tale of two brothers who sailed their fishing boat into the raging waters of the "Moskenestraumen" in Lofoten in the Arctic Circle of Northern Norway. The boat sank and only one of the brothers survived. In 1980 Philip Glass was commissioned to write a 66 minute piece of music based on the work of E.A. Poe. The work was performed in Australia for a dance company and the original recording has been lost. The piece was recorded again for posterity by the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1981. After arranging the music for the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra (the world’s youngest and northernmost professional orchestral institution), the group marched up Kvalvik mountain in Lofoten and the orchestra performed the piece anew at its place of birth. The music combines with cinematic footage of the people of Lofoten hard at work in the toughest imaginable weather conditions. Strong people surviving in an inhospitable, yet beautiful landscape.