NEMUER – Releases Ancient Egyptian-Themed Album
NEMUER’s Ancient Egyptian-Themed Album Released Alongside Crowdfunding Success for Upcoming Film. Teaming up with egyptologists and artist Klara Sedlo, the band brings the Book of the Dead back to life.
Czech music project NEMUER, led by the composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Zann, has just released a highly anticipated album ‘Going Forth by Day’ that musicalizes the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Years of research and collaboration with Egyptologists have led to the creation of a captivating musical journey that will transport listeners through the Egyptian underworld.
Alongside playing and recording historical instruments, NEMUER introduces a groundbreaking element by singing in Ancient Egyptian with a newly reconstructed pronunciation. Thanks to the expertise of renowned Egyptologist Dr. Christian de Vartavan, listeners now have the unprecedented opportunity to experience the authentic sound of this ancient language.
Zann went to great lengths to infuse authenticity into the project. He extensively studied Ancient Egyptian literature and mythology, extracting lyrics from over three thousand-year-old funerary texts such as the Papyrus of Nu. He consulted leading Czech Egyptologists and even traveled to Egypt to acquire musical instruments and draw inspiration firstand. There, he engaged with Copts, direct descendants of Ancient Egyptians, and thanks to them discovered a pharaonic tune that he incorporated into his work.
NEMUER also teamed up with pop-surreal painter Klara Sedlo to work on an art music film that will complement the music. Prior to the album’s release, a crowdfunding campaign for the film was launched, and thanks to the incredible support of backers from around the world, it has been a resounding success, ensuring that NEMUER’s artistic vision for the film will come to life.
NEMUER’s recently released music video, ‘Gates of Duat’, showcases one track from the album and provides a preview of the forthcoming film. The full album is now available on all major streaming platforms, allowing you to embark on a mysterious auditory voyage that transcends time and place. Last but not the least, the album has a special guest – Kjell Braaten (ex-Wardruna), playing an ancient horn in the track ‘Anubis’ Embrace’.
Music video: https://youtu.be/pBnqzfHLOzY
The album seeks to breathe musical life into the very soul of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It begins with death and takes the deceased on a journey through the underworld. There, they encounter a myriad of trials and perils, but if they prevail, they emerge as gods, attaining eternal immortality.
- Anubis’ Embrace
- Sailing to the Underworld
- Gates of Duat
- Sun God Ra’s Solar Barque
- Repelling Apophis
- Falcon of Gold Transformation
- Obey Me, My Heart
- Hall of Maat
- Opening of the Mouth Ritual
- Meeting Osiris
- Rejoining Ka
- Marsh of Reeds
- Going Forth by Day
In a simplified nutshell, the journey consists of the following phases:
- Physical death and entering the underworld (Anubis’ Embrace, Sailing to the Underworld)
- Passing through the Gates of Duat, the underworld, guarded by perilous deities who test their knowledge. Failing such a test would mean experiencing a second death, signifying the end of an individual’s existence.
- Joining the sun god Ra on his everyday journey and fighting Apophis, the giant serpent, embodiment of chaos and darkness (Sun God Ra’s Solar Barque, Repelling Apophis)
- Transformations allowing the deceased to facilitate the travels and regain their senses in the underworld (Falcon of Gold Transformation, Opening of the Mouth Ritual)
- Heart weighing to test the deceased’s purity of soul or magical knowledge preparedness for the journey (Obey Me, My Heart, Hall of Maat)
- Regeneration, rebirth, rejoining the deceased’s soul, entering paradise, and becoming one of the gods (Khepri, Meeting Osiris, Rejoining Ka, Marsh of Reeds, Going Forth by Day)
NEMUER is an ambient folk music project formed in 2014 by Czech composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Zann. His great passion for music, paganism, and history has allowed him to capture something deep and ancient within us that touches listeners all around the world. By combining throat singing, hypnotic rhythms of percussion, historical instruments, dead languages, and elements of electronic music, NEMUER creates a transcendental experience. The name “NEMUER” refers to an ancient Egyptian deity, serving as a mediator between the sun god and humans.
NEMUER’s concerts are performed as unique rituals, taking audiences on an unforgettable journey through time and fantasy. They have performed at renowned festivals (such as Brutal Assault [CZ], Midgardsblot [NO], Menuo Juodaragis [LT], Festival Mediaval [DE], Castle Party [PL], Trolls et Legends [BE], and Cernunnos [FR]).
Genre: World / Folk / Avantgarde / Music Archeology / Ambient
Similar sounding artists: Dead Can Dance, Wardruna, Heilung
Previous release: Urðarbrunnr (2019, Old Norse-themed)
Klara Sedlo is a Czech painter and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In her figurative paintings, she focuses on dreams, the subconscious, and symbolism. One of her most significant painting series so far is Voynich’s botany. She has been long fascinated by the illustrations of plants in The Voynich Manuscript – an extensive piece from the 14th century that is yet to be deciphered. She decided to paint over one hundred simple drawings from the script. She has regular exhibitions in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. Her paintings can be seen in exhibitions worldwide. Some of her paintings were also used in a new Czech crime thriller Nightline. She was a finalist at the international competitions BBA Art Prize 2019 and Mostyn Open 21. The colors in all her paintings are mixed from three elementary colors and white. She is a synesthetic – she sees numbers and letters in colors.
Dr de Vartavan was educated at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology, where he gained world fame in Egyptology by discovering part of the forgotten plant material from king Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. Later he became the founder of Egyptology in Armenia and the director of its first Egyptology research centre, earning in 2013 a state national award for his groundbreaking research. There he discovered the secret chiasmic structure of the most important ritual in Ancient Egypt, the Daily Ritual, performed only by pharaoh himself or his First Prophet in his absence. Dr de Vartavan’s work earned the rare honor of becoming part of the UK’s National Archive during his lifetime, and is kept by University of Oxford’s Griffith Institute.
His recently published “Vocalised Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian” not only presents for the first time a large corpus of vocalised Ancient Egyptian words, but also reveals the unknown presence of various types of vowels in the hieroglyphic script, and how to read them. The discovery of these previously unrecognised vowels and the principles regulating them open new doors to the vocalisation of the Ancient Egyptian language. They also lay the foundations for the future comprehension of ancient Egyptian texts, poetry in particular, by adding sound to meaning.