Hildegard Refracted: Live in Studio
All texts and music are drawn from the musical and written works of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
Reading from Vision 3
Alleluia! O virga mediatrix (instrumental)
Riesencodex, arr. Sian Ricketts
O dulcis electe
Riesencodex, arr. Tracy Cowart
At home with Hildegard (Migraine)
Causae et Curae
Riesencodes, arr. Jim Hopkins & Charles Mueller
Planet Hildegard (The Dog)
O virtus sapientie
Riesencodex, arr. Spiff Wiegand
Cause et Curae, Physica
O quam preciosa (instrumental with vocal refrains)
Riesencodex, arr. Elisa Sutherland
At home with Hildegard (Insomnia)
Causae et Curae
O frondens virga
Dendermonde Codex, arr. Charles Mueller
Planet Hildegard (The Panther)
O viridissima virga
Riesencodex, arr. Jim Hopkins
Premiere 7:00 PM ET Apr 10, 2022
OnDemand Apr 10-17, 2022
Alkemie exists to explore and share the life-affirming and alternative perspectives to be experienced in the sounds of centuries past. Comprised of singer-performers playing over a dozen instruments (including vielles, harps, psaltery, gittern, recorders, douçaines, and percussion), the ensemble has a particular interest in the porous boundaries between the court and folk music of the Medieval period. Grounded in historical performance practice and fed by a love of experimentation, Alkemie’s performance on the Indianapolis Early Music Festival in June 2018 was lauded as “enchanting” and “indicating [the] future health of the field of early music.”
Founded in 2013, Alkemie is based in Brooklyn and also performs nationally; since 2018 they have maintained a partnership with the Medieval Studies program at Fordham University. In addition to growing a series in NYC, Alkemie has appeared at the Amherst Early Music Festival (New London, CT), Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR – Amherst, VA), Beacon Hill Concert Series (Stroudsburg, PA), the Cambridge Society for Early Music (Cambridge, MA), the Capitol Early Music Series (Washington, DC), Five Boroughs Music Series (NYC) Gotham Early Music Scene (NYC), Music Before 1800 series (NYC), and the War Memorial Arts Initiative (Baltimore).
In 2020-2021, Alkemie debuted a recorded program of Medieval Ashkenazi and German music(“Mirroring the Other”), early American and English ballads and Renaissance consort repertoire(“Blood, Booze, and Betrayal”), and “Florilegium,” all of which featured new works from ensemble members and collaborators. With the support of the Arizona Early Music Society, Capitol Early Music, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, Alkemie also produced two recorded programs (“Sweet Friendship” and “Love to My Liking”); and a livestreamed concert of the music of Hildegard von Bingen in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health and Fordham University.
Later this season, Alkemie looks forward to a collaboration with Grammy-nominated duo Chapter House featuring music inspired by the fables of Marie de France and a reprise of their “Verdant Medicine: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary” program with pre-eminent vielle player and composer Shira Kammen.
Alkemie’s members are also committed to the lively teaching of medieval and Renaissanceperformance practice and history. Alkemie has presented workshops and educational outreachprograms at the Capitol Early Music Series (VA), Ramaz High School (NY), and at FordhamUniversity (NY), and Alkemie members teach collegiate and amateur students at Case WesternReserve University (OH), Fordham University (NY), the Strathmore Arts Center (MD), AmherstEarly Music Festival (CT), the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin (OH), and through the Early Music Access Project (VA).
Tracy Cowart (voice, gothic harp) enjoys a wide range of vocal interests, from twelfth-century polyphony to contemporary art music. Praised by the New York Times as “the real attraction” with a voice that is “light and lithe,” Tracy has performed with Apollo’s Fire, Musica Pacifica, Opera Lafayette, the Newberry Consort, Rose of the Compass, Seven Times Salt, Severall Friends, Tenet, Three Notch’d Road, the Vox Vocal Ensemble, and the Washington Bach Consort. Also known for her interpretations of new music, Tracy has performed with the Great Noise Ensemble, sung cabaret with the Richmond Festival of Music, and toured Weird Uncle, an experimental group that fuses medieval modes, jug band, and electronica. Tracy received her M.M. in Early Music from the Longy School of Music and her D.M.A. in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University; she is faculty with the Amherst Early Music Festival, and has been a guest-artist/lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, Fairmont State University, Bucknell University, and the Society for Seventeenth Century Music. She is a proud collaborator with the Charlottesville-based Early Music Access Project, and co-directs the early music Collegium at Fordham University with Sian Ricketts. When she is not performing, she is an enthusiastic forager and member of the New York Mycological Society.
Sian Ricketts (voice, recorders, douçaines) enjoys a multi-faceted career as a singer and period woodwinds specialist. She performs medieval, Renaissance and baroque chamber music and orchestral repertoire with ensembles such as Alkemie (NY), Bach Collegium Fort Wayne (IN), Apollo’s Fire (OH), Dallas Bach Society, Piffaro (PA), Forgotten Clefs, and Labyrinth Baroque (NY). In addition to her interest in early music, Sian also regularly performs 21st-century repertoire as both an instrumentalist and singer, and has collaborated with composers such as Jonathan Dawe, Gregory Spears, Elliot Cole, and Mark Nowakowski. Sian was a Visiting Medieval Fellow at Fordham University for 2019-2020, and is also co-director of Fordham University’s Collegium ensemble. Sian holds a D. M. A. in historical performance practice from Case Western Reserve University with concentrations in voice and baroque oboe.