"Nothing but an open mouth, or perhaps an eye, an ear: nothing but an open body. Bodies are adorations in all their openings."
(Jean-Luc Nancy, Adoration: the Deconstruction of Christianity II)
adoration is an installation taking inspiration from the writing of Jean-Luc Nancy, and the sacred music of late medieval composer, writer and mystic Hildegard von Bingen. Where does sacred experience (re)emerge in a secular, materialist world? Does not the impulse to experience a gap in the texture of reality, a beyond or within, always migrate to another object, another location or non-place? Imagining the space of the gallery infused with and opened by sound, I have distilled the modal tones of one chant by von Bingen and used this palette to invoke an extended moment of presence. What began as minimal panels of reflective colour gave way to visions evoked by von Bingen's life and musical texts transposed across nine centuries and situated an ocean away.
Intoning Hildegard: Collective Droning in the Garden of Visions
Workshop/Performance with Janet Youngdahl
Join us for an afternoon of making contemporary music from 12th century sources and immersive listening as we explore building drones to accompany the visionary chant of Hildegard von Bingen. Bring your voices and any instruments that can produce either a D (any octave) or an E (any octave). Singers, acoustic instruments and electronic instruments are welcome; pitched percussion is also invited. The purpose is to create a stable, in-tune, sustained pitch so the sung chant is supported. We will explore adding upper fifths and octaves to enrich certain sections of the chant. This experience will give you a mini-immersion in Hildegard’s chant, and should offer you a chance to get comfortable working in D and E mode.
The workshop/performance will be led by soprano Janet Youngdahl, an experienced Hildegard singer and early music scholar. This free event is offered in conjunction with Annie Martin’s adoration installation.