Thirteen apprentices and a handful of company members walk onto a bus. The air conditioning is broken. A sweltering three-hour journey awaits them. They mutter. They sweat. Then they sing. And for a moment, we’re all reminded of the importance of art.

A playlist is developing among the apprentices, a series of songs that we will inevitably sing each morning on the walk to Megalo Papingo, in the breaks between rehearsals, and late at night under the stars – an unusual mash-up of Daft Punk, Tune-Yards, and Stephen Sondheim – a product of the unusual mash-up of humans that is this apprentice company. My favorite parts of the playlist come directly from us – spontaneous rap battles over dinner and original compositions over wine.

Music has woven its way into Slay the Beast as well. The piece now opens with the chorus chanting Kevin Armento’s lyrics over tradition Cretan music. Later, we sing about the ‘monotonous daily grind of the Greek farmer’ with a melody composed by Georgia Tsangaraki. We hum Chariots of Fire and whistle Carmina Burana.

We’ve found that it’s easier to remember things when they are set to song.

I’m grateful for this, because there is far too much to remember.

Movement with Natalie. Clowning with Richard. Breathing with Danny. Gestus with Heather. Meaningful conversation with Ianthe, Nicole, and Jess. Speaking my name with Georgia. Banter with Ethan. Soundscapes and mandolin with Estelle. Breakfast with Bryony. Mythmaking with Dianne and Andrea. Rehearsals with Cami and Ashlin. Grilled cheese with Amy and Kate. Laughing with Savannah and Karen. Poetry with Anisha and Aniya. Groggy mornings with Lukas and Stephen.

It’s comforting to know that whenever I hear the songs from our personal playlist – it will all come rushing back.

– Liam

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