Released on May 11, 2018 with Sawdust tracks
Release show on May 13, 2018 at National Sawdust
HECUBA is based on Euripides’ play of the same name. Written sometime around 424 BCE in Athens, Hecuba displays the the disgraced Queen of Troy at her lowest fortune. Yoked into slavery, forced to watch her many children being killed, Hecuba is finally driven to a spectacularly savage revenge, blinding her betrayer and killing his children. It is a play of misplaced blame and barbarity, and is considered by some as Euripides' best work, by others as one of his most problematic.
Oracle’s portrait of Hecuba isolates her most enduring moments: her passionate pleas for mercy from her captors, her assertion that she will cling to her daughter “like ivy to the oak" in Bolero or the hallucinatory image of her body covered in screaming mouths in 100 Tongues.
Each of the songs on HECUBA were co-created by the composer-performers of Oracle. More than any other project by Oracle, HECUBA was born of the studio. The recording features Jason Treuting of So Percussion on drums, Elliot Cole's mixing, and Chris Botta's electronic production. HECUBA began as improvisation and concluded as an border-line experimental and electronic fusion of alternative classical.
Originally commissioned and produced by Opera Cabal, HECUBA received a work in progress performance with the Chicago Composers Orchestra (Constellation, 2014) and was debuted as a live electronic show for the first time at the Toledo Museum of Art on September 23, 2017. The album drops on May 11, 2018 with VisionIntoArt/National Sawdust.
- BBC Radio 3
"Evocative art pop from the unlikeliest of sources, Euripides play Hecuba. Oracle Hysterical, a group made up of new classical and early music performers, has crafted a lovely and elegant album about a terrifying, savage tragedy."
- Brooklyn Rail
"The result is a work that is quiet and subtle, but dramatic, with a beautifully bittersweet indie-rock sound. 'Helen' translates the power and pain of a very old story into something that feels new and universal."
- Gabriela Tedeschi, Second Inversion
- Sherri Rase, Q On Stage
"...blend[s] ideas from across time and land into elegant tunes where serpentine melodies are cradled and cajoled by exquisite arrangements...features gripping slice-and-dice postproduction, with [Majel] Connery’s crystalline voice chopped into percussive phonemes amid chattering acoustic guitar zigzags and stuttering drums.”
- Chicago Reader
- I CARE IF YOU LISTEN