The work takes its cue from François Couperins Leçons de Ténebrès for voices and continuo, written in 1713. The genre Leçons de ténèbres dates back to the renaissance and the Holy Week, when music was performed in the flicker of candlelight; after each ‘leçon’ a light was extinguished, until the darkness, ‘tenebrae’, on good friday, after the last candle.
The new work relates to this tradition, and will be performed in an acoustic setting together with baroque pieces in the same genre. The work is developed in close collaboration with the distinct voices of Song Circus, and Lislevands gamba will play an important role both as counterpoint and as bass fundament to the four female voices. In keeping with the idea of light as dramaturgical element, we will work with the light and space of performance, to create anintegral experience for the listener.
The texts of the baroque Leçons de Ténebrès – translating as ‘Lessons in/from the dark’ – are from the biblical book of Jermiah, lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem about 500 BC. This material will be juxtaposed in the work with new texts telling stories from Israel today.
Performed by Song Circus (Ingeborg Dalheim, Liv Runesdatter, Silje Aker Johnsen, Signe Irene Stangborli Time (voices)) and André Lislevand (viola da gamba)