Benedict Roff-Marsh has just released an album called “Triumph & Tragedy”. It is the eternal story of humanity as seen through the eyes of the stories of Greek Myths. Each track starts with triumph as the character achieves something they see as wonderful. Only shortly thereafter, the fates conspire against them. Or perhaps more accurately, their own natures cause them to have started the process of their undoing as they rose to their perceived triumphs.
Benedict Roff-Marsh says:
“This is my 82nd album. I lost track and had to make an Excel spreadsheet and get it to count for me.
The inputs are pretty diverse this time as there are elements of Ambient, Berlin School, Prog Rock, and Orchestral all bubbling away in this album. Of course, they are all seen through my eyes so the album has a cohesion as it is my view of the world through these amazing stories that have been with us for thousands of years.
My parents gave me a used copy of Charles Kingsley’s “The Heroes” (1889) when I was about eight. Every good British schoolboy had a copy when my parents were young. Not so for my generation. I was the only kid at school to read it. But the Greek heroes were so great. I was already interested in the stories, but having them in such a lively and re-readable format was wonderful. (I just loaned it to my 12 yo daughter to read after we got to watching BBCs “Atlantis” on Netflix).
The album wasn’t meant to be about anything particular at the time. Maybe “something grand and a bit folky/ethic”. The first piece written resisted a name but it very much felt like a memory of something grand. The next piece got the working title “Sirens” from the sound that I borrowed from a Gary Numan record. Then it hit me that I really did have a theme happening right under me. It was about the Greek Myths through my eyes today.
So I went to my fave place on the internet, Wikipedia and started trawling through Greek Myths in search of the ones that had something that appealed. I was not expecting the real Meta-Story of the album being of pieces where a triumph turns into a tragedy but that is the real nature of most of the stories. While that sounds grim, I didn’t want the album to seem too dark. Yes, dramatic things happen, but in reality, the ultimate triumph is there because these stories are remembered.
The stories tell us that despite bad things happening (with alarming regularity when Gods are involved it seems) as humans, we can always rise above given determination, courage and passion.”
The album is available for purchase on Bandcamp.