Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok

On Saturday, August 31, LoneStarCon 3 will be pleased to present Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok, a performance by the a capella group Sassafrass. Gods and myths of the Viking era will come to life in this set of songs which narrate the history of the cosmos according to Viking legend, from the creation of the world to Ragnarok.

This new show was premiered at Balticon earlier this year, and will be receiving its second performance at Worldcon.

The Story

In the two-hour stage performance, the songs in the Sundown cycle form a continuous narrative, held together by a framing story narrated by Snorri Sturlson, the historic author of the Prose Edda. Camping alone in the mountains, Snorri is approached by a youth called Saemund, a descendant of Snorri’s childhood foster father, raised in the south, who says he has come north in order to learn the stories of the gods which are no longer taught in the Chrisitan lands where he grew up. As Snorri tells his tales, he is joined by the spirit of the ancient Jotun Seeress Angurboda, whose prophecies warns Snorri of a sinister purpose behind young Saemund’s visit. Thus two stories unfold as the play progresses, the rise and fall of the Aesir gods, and the historical conflicts that surrounded Snorri Sturlson during the last days of the Icelandic commonwealth.

Sassafrass and the Kickstarter

Sassafrass is a singing group performing original a cappella folk music, mostly with fantasy, mythology and science fiction themes. Their pieces are set in close harmony, with a somewhat Renaissance feel, and for women’s voices or mixed. Their songs usually tell stories, and have a lot of lyrical complexity, often with multiple different lines of lyrics woven together to communicate different characters or aspects of a story. They perform mainly at science fiction and fantasy conventions, but also at clubs and other venues. Their work has been recognized through Pegasus Award nominations for best performer in both 2010 and 2012.

Sassafrass has just raised the amazing sum of over $16,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund both the performance at LoneStarCon 3 and the creation of CD and DVD versions of the show. The fundraising period is now over but the video below will give you a great introduction to the project. Full information can be found on the Sassafrass website.