IN PRAISE OF OUR MUSES From ancient times, humans have attributed their creative impulses and artistic achievements to inspiration from the Muses, originally conceived of as a collection of Goddesses. Societies held as sacred those individuals who promoted the arts and the sciences and advanced the more civilized aspects of society, believing that the Muses had smiled upon them. As the oldest of the three Muses, Aoide was the Muse of song or voice. Ancient Greeks considered Aoide to be the real singer or speaker, and the performer, merely her mouthpiece. The Greeks invoked Aoide at the beginning of hymns or poetry recitals, for with her intervention, performers might tap into the deepest veins of inspiration and creativity, producing their most wholehearted and moving performance.
The Greek oral poet Hesiod said of the Muses, "Their hearts are set upon song and their spirit is free from care. He is happy whom the Muses love. For though a man has sorrow and grief in his soul, yet when the servant of the Muses sings, at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles. Such is the holy gift of the Muses to men."
In modern day, we may not envision goddesses bestowing blessings upon artists, but we do look to performers to elevate our spirits through their artistry. We honor and bless musicians, in particular, for the gifts they share and the service they render, for they do help us forget our dark thoughts and remember not only the joy in life, but the grace of our better natures.
An artist such as David Chapman evokes a musician’s best nature, through his positive, encouraging, and vibrant spirit. He and his performers share the journey of musical exploration and artistic evolution, measured by the highest standards, and focused on touching the listener in a significant way. As a creative team, they channel the vitality and passion of the Muse Aoide to lift up, to thrill, to edify an audience and, ultimately, to transport them to a better place. Jim Flaherty