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Photo: Sue Ellen Brown

GLASS WAVE: From left, Thomas Harrison, Dan Edelstein, Christy Wampole, Robert Harrison, Jay Kadis and Colin Camarillo.

Three literary scholars from Stanford's department of French and Italian are giving classic rock a whole new meaning by mashing up the likes of Homer and Hendrix, Dante and the Doors. Department chair and professor of Italian literature Robert Harrison, assistant professor of French literature Dan Edelstein and doctoral student Christy Wampole are members of the band Glass Wave. Rounding out the quintet are Harrison's brother Thomas, a professor at UCLA, and Bay Area native Colin Camarillo.

Harrison calls the genre "cerebral rock" and hopes it will spark renewed interest in the works that inspired the songs—particularly among generation Xbox. "We're transporting these literary works into the terra nova of rock," he says. The group's self-titled debut, released in March, features 11 songs inspired by characters out of the Western canon, from Melville's elusive whale ("Moby Dick") to Ovid's lovelorn nymph ("Echo") to Shelley's lonely monster ("Creature") to Nabokov's precocious seductress ("Lolita"). Chanteuse Wampole says the songs attempt to retell the classic stories from a novel perspective.

The album was recorded and mixed by Jay Kadis, an audio engineer and lecturer at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).

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