HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDER



In approximately 275 BC an army of Celts – to become known to us as the Galatians – crossed from Greece into Anatolia, present day Turkey. Eventually settling in the central part of the country, with Ankara as their capital, they established themselves as a force either battling against or allied with the peoples of the area, until they were finally subdued by the Romans.


On the Northern border of Galatia was the Black Sea Greek Kingdom of Pontos whose inhabitants considered themselves the inheritors of Jason and the Argonauts. The Pontic Kingdom was adjacent on the East to the ancient Caucasian Kingdom of Colchis, made famous with Medea and the Golden Fleece.


A Celtic presence was noted in the area for centuries. In the Fourth Century AD St. Jerome on his travels to Anatolia noted that a Celtic language was still spoken there. There is mention of the province of Galatia as late as the 8th century AD. In Istanbul the famous Galata Tower, although rebuilt by the Genoese in 1348 AD, is a much older building rumoured to have been financed by a local Galatian Celtic businessman.


Although the Galatians have long disappeared as a visible group their historical contact with the Pontic Greeks is possibly why Pontic and Celtic music seem to have a common ancestor. Although separated by time and distance both musics share a “feel” and some similar melodic and rhythmic structures.


This song is a modern recreation of the connection between these two archaic cultures.