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"AquaAngelusVox - A TopoSonic Mandala with Hildegard von Bingen"

by <sabine schäfer // joachim krebs>


Consistence Plan of AquaAngelusVox



Starting from Hildegard von Bingen's (1098 1179 AD) world view, a holistic, pantheist "mysticism of experience" based on the unity of man, the world and God, and founding on the "unification" of empiricism and metaphysics - including a listening event which may be experienced both on an intellectual and on a sensual level -, an immediately effective atmosphere is created, an imagined "SoundExperience-space" suitable for a spiritual/contemplative meditation on the context of the genesis and existence of man, the animals, nature and the cosmos.

The couple of artists has placed its multichannel Space-sound composition multidimensionally in space in the shape of a Space-sound mandala constantly proliferating, plant-like and self-impelled, from its own centre. It follows a spherical choreography of space and movement with metabolically alternating spaces and multilinear motion dynamics quasi diving at their own centre.



The natural sphere is staged as an imaginary listening journey based on the "prima materia", water, in six of its most important manifestations (spring, well, brook, rain, river, sea) and symbolical levels of meaning - lasting from dawn all through the day until dusk.

In its continuous presence, this sound layer - which structures the whole 56 minutes-Space-sound composition into six metamorphously merging Space-sound milieux - constitutes a resonance field for the two sound layers "Angelus" and "Vox" freely fluctuating between concrete naturalism and abstract sound event, mainly by creating artificial spaces and movement relations.



"Aerial spirits", "winged souls" - birds - constitute the most intensively transformed sound layer, an ensemble of so called "desubjectivized expressive materials" (Deleuze/Guattari) and abstract-rhythmic melodic SoundFigures. These are created by means of so-called digital sound processors (samplers). It is by these processors that, in a quasi-scientific manner comparable to the application of an audio-microscope (EndoSonoScopy), the acoustic/molecular intrinsic structure of eighteen birds' voices is explored and rendered audible so that, after intensive collecting and archiving activities, they are made available for artistic work.

The birds in their artificial presence do not only relate to themselves or to their non-acoustic symbolic value, but even beyond to the far-ranging, open historical/cultural associations which are commonly evoked by the word "angel".



In structura mundi quasi in medio eius home est - In the centre of the world structure, there is man.

In accordance with this quotation by Hildegard which represents the macrocosm "world" as it is perceived and experienced by the microcosm "man", the responsory "De Angelis" by Hildegard von Bingen, sung by three women's voices a cappella and left in its original form without any transformations, constitutes the third sound layer.

The fifteen-line-responsory was only divided into fifty-five individual sound formulas in accordance with natural breathing or text breaks. Distributed over the entire sound composition according to strict harmonical-symmetrical principles, they constitute in their original chronological order of succession a Space-sound matrix which structures the time of the event perceived by man as a linear vector and may be envisioned as fastened to 55 word-sound pillars.