Mythodea— Music for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey is a choral symphony by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis. Originally premiered in concert in 1993, it was published in 2001 by Vangelis’ new record label Sony Classical, which also set up the NASA connection and promoted a new concert.
The 2001 version of Mythodea was recorded and played on-stage by: Vangelis on synthesizers and keyboards, the London Metropolitan Orchestra augmented by two harpists, sopranos Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, the chorus of the Greek National Opera, and, for the concert only, the Seistron and Typana percussion ensembles. The concert was held in Athens, Greece on June 28, 2001, and the record was officially released on October 23, 2001, to coincide with the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft entering the orbit of planet Mars. A video of the concert was released in early 2002.
The deal with NASA made Mythodea the official music of the mission involving the spacecraft 2001 Mars Odyssey. This mission took the spacecraft to the orbit of Mars on October 23, 2001, and the audio CD of Mythodea was scheduled to be officially released on the same day. Vangelis described the connection he felt between the music and the mission on the 2001 Mars Odyssey official website:
|“||I made up the name Mythodea from the words myth and ode. And I felt in it a kind of shared or common path with NASA’s current exploration of the planet [Mars]. Whatever we use as a key — music, mythology, science, mathematics, astronomy — we are all working to decode the mystery of creation, searching for our deepest roots.||”|
The premiere of the new version of Mythodea was held on June 28, 2001. By this date, the album had already been recorded and was finished. The concert was a live performance of the album, with everyone involved in the recording reprising their roles plus additional performers. The setting was the ancient (6th century BC) Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens.
The spectacle involved 224 musicians on stage, the same involved in the recording: Vangelis, two harpists, the 75-person London Metropolitan Orchestra, the 120-person chorus of the Greek National Opera, plus newcomers Greek percussion ensembles Seistron and Typana, that provided 24 timpani. In the back, a projection screen measuring 180 m in length and 24 m in height showed images of Mars supplied by NASA, combined with elements of ancient Greek mythology.
The number of attending spectators to the ticket-paid event was between 2,000and 2,500, with another 30,000 people watching for free on a giant screen at the nearby Panathinaiko Stadium. Mars itself made a special appearance at the concert as an announcer told the spectators to look for an orange spot shining in the clear sky above the orchestra.
The lyrics that are allegedly sung by the choir are:
Dia Ela (Come Zeus)
Esy Pe Di (Almighty,you must)
Dia Erota,Zito Sy Ela (Zeus Eros,I call for you to come)
Dia Sy Thee Mou (Zeus my God)
Eso Men Sy,Esy Pe Thee (You’re inside us,you Almighty God)
En Zi Theos (God lives inside)
Zito Te Tin Mitera Thee(I call for the Mother,God)
Men I Ek Tou Dia Men (Coming from Zeus)
Moni Ek Tou Dia Men (Only from Zeus)
Pe Zef,Pe Di (Zeus Almighty you must)
Deomeni Arhontos Dii (We pray to Lord Zeus)
Deomeni Deomen Si (Praying we call for you)
Deomen Deomen Deomeni (We call praying)
01. Introduction — 01:15
02. Movement 1 — 02:30
03. Movement 2 — 08:15
04. Movement 3 — 14:35
05. Movement 4 — 20:55
06. Movement 5 — 35:40
07. Movement 6 — 42:00
08. Movement 7 — 49:15
09. Movement 8 — 54:33
10. Movement 9 — 58:08
11. Movement 10 – 01:04:05
12. Finale – Chariots of Fire — 01:08:35