Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In review--Visionary Prophetess

Voice of Blood
Hildegard von Bingen
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/BMG

Anyone interested in the healing powers of music must include at least one recording of the medieval Benedictine abbess Hildegard von Bingen's inspired chants in his or her collection. While I personally have not experienced any healings from Hildegard's repertoire, I am inspired by this beautiful music nonetheless and have read of others experiencing personal healing from Hildegard's divinely channeled music. Others have told me of mystical experiences associated with these sacred chants.

Hildegard would in our time be considered an energy or alternative healer. With no training or certification, Hildegard channeled directly from God information on healing with plants, nutrition/diet, sacred art such as mandalas she created and the sacred chants that are still being recorded today by such ensembles as Anonymous 4, Sequentia and other vocal groups. And similar to many healers and mystics of our time, in order for Hildegard to bring this energy to this earthly realm and experience, she suffered her share of illnesses, mainly severe headaches, not uncommon with mystics and saints through the ages.

So for all of you healers out there dealing with chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, Lyme disease, cancer, MS and other ailments, know that you are not alone and perhaps the energy coming through you to shed light on the earth has its side effects. And of course, I recommend adding sound and music therapy to your modalities to help you along in your healing, in case you have not already considered the healing power of music. Some of you have reached that conclusion and are musicians as well as, sound healers. We are holding a precious space to rebirth this planet, and it feels excruciating at times. I know this first hand and experience good and bad days myself.

The early music ensemble/choir Sequentia was founded in 1977 by its co-directors Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thorton. Certainly similar to Anonymous 4, the Hilliard Ensemble, etc...Sequentia is a well known ensemble with a lot of integrity in regard to performing and interpreting early music. Sequentia recorded all of Hildegard's music that we know of and can be found in a series of recordings. Voice of Blood was recorded in the mid 90s and still sounds fresh and vibrant with beautiful clear tone vocals masterfully performing some of the most challenging sacred songs in the world. Hildegard's nuns sang these songs during the 11th Century, but by today's standards, it takes well-trained vocalists to perform chants that sometimes vault an octave. Certainly these chants could be called breathtaking.

It's a real challenge to delve into Hildegard von Bingen's repertoire and healing modalities in a single review. I do hope to stress the importance of her chants. I encourage you to pick up from a library or purchase either Sequentia's or Anonymous 4's recordings of Hildegard's chants or if you are in the Seattle area check out the Medieval Women's Choir's recording of Hildegard von Bingen and performances of Hildegard's sacred chants. If you are able to see the choir sing at Saint James Cathedral, you would be in for a healing experience you won't soon forget.

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