Several years ago I began to be drawn to the fragrant air of medieval time and thought, and found myself caught in the mist of a dreamlike time that lingers at the edges of our imagination... the threshold of wonder. For to the medieval mind, wonder itself is the miracle and all of creation divine signs used by God to inspire and remind us of our own sacred mystery. Simultaneously strange and familiar, the natural world and beastiary kingdom are allegories for human relations; sensual love but a mischievous mirror of spiritual love.
These songs come from early Christian, Jewish and Celtic communities from diverse regions around the Mediterranean. You can readily hear the intersecting influences of different cultures as people moved and shifted throughout the basin. King Nimrod, for example, is a case of identical melodies that emerged through both Christian and Jewish communities, each honoring their respective stories. In seeing the convergence of different peoples, beliefs and times unified through song, perhaps the wind whispers that there is ultimately only One song that all people, persuasions, and longing hearts sing and that in looking back we are led to the grail right in front of us.
What is fascinating to learn is that many of the earliest songs were composed, sung and passed down orally by women long before the male troubadours took historic precedence. The songs were well known for both their sensuous and serious nature and the exalted feminine nature is reverenced through the bountiful Mother Earth, the Mother of Christ, as well as through every woman, each seen as a vessel of creative force and guardian of sacred knowledge.
Collaborating with composer Greg Harris, a wonderful creation took place between these ancient songs and texts I discovered and his extraordinary 21st century musical vision.