Heritage exhibition: Finding the source - opening Friday 17 September 6.30pm-9pm
Finding the source: Sacred musical treasures from Gaul to Solesmes
Until 31 October - open: Mon-Sun: 2pm-6pm / Wed: 2pm-8pm (admission free)
This exhibition showcases music and books from CCI’s Old Library and Historical Archives collections that illustrate the story of a particular type of religious music called plainchant.
Singing and music have been an integral part of Christian worship from the earliest days of the Church. Over the centuries, a body of chant called plainchant was composed to accompany the liturgy – sung in unison, unaccompanied, and without a fixed rhythm, it became known as Gregorian chant in the Roman church. Throughout the Renaissance, it was gradually eclipsed by elaborate polyphonic compositions. However a renewed surge of interest in plainchant developed from the 19th century, first in Germany within the Cecilian movement and then encouraged by the publications of the influential Benedictine monks of Solesmes.
This fascinating story of decline and revival is complemented by a number of original recordings by contemporary musicians who have been invited to adapt or reinterpret some of the scores in the exhibition: Sam Comerford, Rioghnach Connolly, Garth Knox, Oscar Mascarenas, Nick Roth & Olesya Zdorovetska, Catherine Sikora Mingus & Eric Mingus.
Scientific direction: Dr Mary Louise O’Donnell, Musicologist and musician, Fulbright Scholar 2019/20, Research Fellow at the CCI in 2019.