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Wherever they go : solo for shakuhachi and voice

by Anne Norman (2018)

Also known as: Unde quocumque

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Digital Audio Album

Self-isolation / Anne Norman.

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Work Overview

Based on a short song by Hildegard von Bingen

Unde quocumque veninetes perrexerunt,
Velut cum gaudio celestis paradisi suscepte sunt,
Quia in religione morum, Honorifice apparuerunt.

Wherever they go in their wanderings,
they are greeted with joy, as in Heaven,
for their faith and honour are apparent.

The lyrics of this song probably refer to the apostles, but I feel it is about Hildegard, after the age of sixty, wandering Southern Germany on four preaching tours with her attendants. Being a happy wanderer myself, like many musicians, I am so grateful to those who host me.

I have used elements of Hildegard's melody and Latin lyrics, adding rhythmic interpretations and incidental overlapping harmonies while basically maintaining a medieval monophony. No one knows how fast Hildegard's songs were sung in the 12th century. My tempo indications do not imply a strict metre and durations are relative only. I have taken this work into the Zen-like meditation format of shakuhachi, basing the phrasing on arcing breaths and revelling in the answering resonance of stone churches for performance.

I first arranged and performed this music as a duet with soprano Deborah Kayser under the title Unde. That duo score is also available.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Shakuhachi, with player's voice.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — involves some simultaneous singing and hocketing

First performance: by Anne Norman — 6 Jul 19. Uzura Gallery, Kyoto, Japan

Alternate title: Unde quocumque

Influenced by 12th Century chant.

Can also be performed as a duet with soprano and shakuhachi.

Performances of this work

6 Jul 19: Uzura Gallery, Kyoto, Japan. Featuring Anne Norman.

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