This multi-dimensional event was designed with hand-made Intersensory Program Materials that pair Hildegard's music, texts, and associated images with materials that you can literally smell, taste, touch, and hear. (All images and texts for intersensory materials are also featured as part of the video broadcast.)
INTERACTIVE CONCERT w/Post-Concert Scholar Roundtable
Premiered April 30, 2021 from 2-4 p.m. EDT
On Demand through May 16
**Update: Intersensory Program Materials (taste-touch-smell-hear-see)
are sold out - but you can still register to watch the 2-hour event!
Mystic, medic, and musician, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) expanded both Christian theology and the humoral theory of Galen to connect the viriditas (living greenness) of plants and the metaphorical viridity of spirituality directly to the human body and its functioning.
This program situates Hildegard’s music within her understanding of medieval pharmacognosy (i.e. plant medicine), sharing her vision of an earth-bound transcendence that connects humans to the divine through spiritual "greening" and the five senses. Her beliefs are mirrored in the music she wrote for her nuns—ecstatic chants in which unfurling branches, earthbound roots, and medicinal spices are depicted in soaring melodies that swirl throughout an almost three-octave range.
The concert broadcast is immediately followed by a roundtable conversation with the musicians and with three noted scholars, Dr. Victoria Sweet, Dr. Alisha Rankin, and Dr. Minji Lee, and moderated by Johns Hopkins historian of medicine Dr. Mary Fissell.
Dr. Alisha Rankin
Panaceia's Daughters: Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany
Dr. Victoria Sweet
Rooted in the Earth, Rooted in
the Sky: Hildegard of Bingen
and Premodern Medicine
This program is created in conjunction with Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities, & Health and supported by the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies. Alkemie also welcomes special guests Fiona Gillespie (voice, medieval flute) and Spiff Wiegand (percussion).
Dr. Minji Lee
“Woman’s Body In-Between:
The Holy and Monstrous
Womb in Medieval
Medicine and Religion”
Alkemie's NYC Concerts are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.