Hecuba is a lush and experimental rock-leaning album 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 and electronic production by Chris Botta. Hecuba began as improvisation and concluded as an experimental and electronic fusion of alternative classical.
“…blend[s] ideas from across time and land into elegant tunes where serpentine melodies are cradled and cajoled by exquisite arrangements…”
– Chicago Reader
Composed and Recorded
Majel Connery – vocals and keyboards
Doug Balliett – double bass, electric bass, viola da gamba
Brad Balliett – bassons
Elliot Cole – vocals, guitars and keyboards
Jason Treuting – drums, percussion
Added for Live Performance
Chris Botta – live arrangements, synths, guitar, mixing
Dylan Greene – live arrangements, drums, percussion
Album Art by Hannah Devereux
Design by Benjamin Wilkerson Tousley
Produced by Elliot Cole
Co-produced by Chris Botta and Alexander Overington
Mixed and mastered by Chris Botta
Commissioned and co-produced by Opera Cabal
Recorded at the Princeton Music Department, the Overington Farm, and Staplechest Audio