Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer and philosopher. Born in the late 11th century she was widely regarded as a visionary in the arts world, writing a series of texts, plays and music which have been the subject of renewed interest in recent years. Having been referred to as a Saint by numerous popes throughout the ages, Hildergard will officially be made a Saint on the 7th October 2012. She will be the first ever composer to be canonised.
The album is a joint collaboration between old school friends, Guy Sigsworth and Stevie Wishart, who have reunited for the first time to record this album. Having studied medieval music together at a young age, they went on to go down very different musical paths. Stevie went on to become an academic in medieval music, specialising in Hildegard and the hurdy gurdy. Guy became a music producer working with renowned artists such as Bjork, Madonna and Britney Spears, as well as continuing to write his own original compositions.
The collaborative force behind this project therefore ensures that Hildegard isn’t just a straightforward medieval recording. As well as original pieces by Hildegard, the album also features new compositions by Stevie incorporating text written by Hildegard and pieces by Guy, who reworks Hildegard samples to create stunning, ambient remixes.
The music of Hildegard is no stranger to being sampled in contemporary music. The 1989 hit ‘The Sun Rising’ by electronic duo The Beloved scored massive chart success and has become the ambient soundtrack to many summers since.
“It might not be to purists’ taste, but the disc evokes hypnotic atmosphere...Reverb gives the impression of an ecclesiastical setting (though the programme was recorded in London’s Henry Wood Hall), and the 21st-century adaptations broaden the context while embracing the mystical milieu of Hildegard’s own music.” The Telegraph, 26th October 2012 *****