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Project Hildegard – Saint Boniface…

And here’s the chant for Saint Boniface (whose feast day was on Saturday, June 5th) that I revisited last year (#11 (2))

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o bonifaci – it runs and flows

o boniface, the living light saw you, like a sage, who returned to god the pure rivulets flowing from god when you watered the greenness of the flowers. For you are a friend of the living god and a bright crystal in the graciousness of the paths of right, on which, wisely, you ran.

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Project Hildegard – Saint Maximin…

As I continue to work on Part 2 of o jerusalem – city of gold, I repost a chant that I revisited in honour of Saint Maximin’s feast day (which is today) a year ago (#8 (2)). Such a pretty sequence. I thought of it this morning as I saw two pigeons (sorry, doves) up to their Spring business 🙂

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columba aspexit – the dove looked in

The dove looked in through the lattices of the windows, where, before it, a balm exuded from the bright Maximinus. The heat of the sun burned, dazzling in the gloom, whence a jewel sprang forth in the building of the temple of the purest loving heart. This high tower, of Lebanese wood and cypress, has been adorned with jacinth and diamonds, a city excelling the crafts of other builders. The swift deer ran to the fountain of clearest water flowing from the most powerful stone, irrigating sweet perfume.

O you, who deal in paints and unguents, in the sweetest greenness of the gardens of the King, ascending on high when the holy sacrifice of the rams is complete. This artist shines among you, the wall of the temple, who longed for the wings of an eagle, kissing the wisdom that nourished him in the glorious fecundity of the Church.

O Maximinus, you are the mountain and the valley and in both a high building appears where the goat went with the elephant and wisdom was in rapture. You are strong and beautiful in ceremony, and in the shining of the altar, mounting like the smoke of perfumes to the column of praise. Where you intercede for the people who stretch towards the mirror of light to whom there is praise on high.

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Project Hildegard #34 (2a)

Part 1 of o jerusalem – city of gold is finally ready! The long Whitsun weekend, accompanied by wet, stay-at-home weather, allowed me to complete half of this lengthy eulogy to Saint Rupert.

This is the first composition that I’ve created using the digital audio workstation Ableton Live – I have taken my first hesitant steps along the narrow road to understanding all the technical possibilities and complexities :-). Stay tuned for Part 2, coming up next!

In this chant, Hildegard likens Rupert to Jerusalem, and it was impossible for me to set it without my thoughts turning to the recent violence in Gaza and Israel. I can only hope that these complicated problems will one day resolve so that this beautiful place, a place that is so important to so many people – this city of gold – can be a place of peace.

#hildegardvonbingen #chantrevisited #ilovemycello

O jerusalem, city of gold, adorned with royal purple, building of utmost bounty, whose light is never darkened, you are adorned by the dawn, and in the sun’s heat. O blessed childhood, glowing red in the dawn, and o admirable youth, burning in sunlight. For you, noble Rupert, glitter like a gem, so you cannot be hidden by stupid men, like the valley cannot hide the mountain. Your windows, jerusalem, are specially decorated with topaz and sapphire. For your brightness, o Rupert, cannot be hidden by the tepid ways of man, like the valley cannot hide the mountain – crowned with roses, lilies and purple, in a true vision. Tender flower of the field, and sweet green of the apple, and without a bitter core, not bending your breast to crime! Noble vessel, neither polluted or devoured by the dance in the ancient cave, nor destroyed by the wounds of the ancient enemy.

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This project is now on SoundCloud

Project Hildegard continues…

Today is St. Rupert’s feast day, but sadly, despite my best efforts, my revisiting of o jerusalem is not yet ready. I shall be working on it this weekend, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I re-post another chant for St. Rupert that I revisited for voice with cello accompaniment about a year ago: o felix apparitio – with harmonics. Please forgive the rather basic recording quality. Listening back to it now, I realize that I have learnt quite a lot about the technological side of things during this project 🙂

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Project Hildegard #34

Here is a lengthy, but rather wonderful, sequence in honour of one of Hildegard’s favourite saints: St. Rupert. I post it today, in the hopes that by the time his feast day comes along (May 15) I may have managed to revisit it…

This chant is incomplete in the Dendermonde facsimile – there seems to be another page missing, this time between D164v and D165. (See my post about ave generosa and about o virga ac diadema, which are also incomplete in the Dendermonde facsimile because of a missing page.)

Just as an amusing little “by the way,” it tickled me to work on this chant, as it reminded me of a job I did for the artist Tino Sehgal back in the autumn of 2011. I was one of the singers detailed to pop out and sing “This is propaganda, you know” as part of an exhibition at the Argos Centre in Brussels. And the melody we used began like this chant! It took me a while to realize why it was so familiar 🙂

o jerusalem

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O jerusalem, city of gold, adorned with royal purple, building of utmost bounty, whose light is never darkened, you are adorned by the dawn, and in the sun’s heat. O blessed childhood, glowing red in the dawn, and o admirable youth, burning in sunlight. For you, noble Rupert, glitter like a gem, so you cannot be hidden by stupid men, like the valley cannot hide the mountain. Your windows, jerusalem, are specially decorated with topaz and sapphire. For your brightness, o Rupert, cannot be hidden by the tepid ways of man, like the valley cannot hide the mountain – crowned with roses, lilies and purple, in a true vision. Tender flower of the field, and sweet green of the apple, and without a bitter core, not bending your breast to crime! Noble vessel, neither polluted or devoured by the dance in the ancient cave, nor destroyed by the wounds of the ancient enemy: The Holy Spirit makes music in you, who belong to the chorus of angels, since in the son of God you are made beautiful, having no flaw. What a glorious vessel you are, o Rupert, you who in your childhood and youth gasped for God, in fear of God, in the embrace of love, and in the sweetest fragrance of good works. O jerusalem, your foundations are set with burning stones, that is, publicans and sinners: they are lost sheep, unless found through the Son of God, they run towards you and are placed in you. Thus your walls flash with living stones which, through an utmost study of good will, flew like clouds in the heavens. And so your towers, o jerusalem, glow red and shine through the glow and brilliance of the saints and all that God made beautiful, you lack nothing, o jerusalem. As you, adorned and beautiful, who live in Jerusalem, and you, o Rupert, who are their companion in this place, help us, the family that labours in exile.

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This project is now on SoundCloud