Auralizing the Medieval Image: Music from the Liturgy of Sainte-Foy at Conques 
Bing Hall, Stanford Live, February 10, 2023 

Photographs: Susana Barron

The Auralizing the Medieval Image concert brought to life the vespers of the eleventh-century Office of Sainte-Foy, sung by Marcel Pérès and his Ensemble Organum. The stage was animated with the scrim projection of the statue of Sainte Foy, floating over and behind the singers. She was the figure to whom the singers turned and sang. Gobo light projections on the sails of Bing Hall gave a glimpse into the Aquitanian music notation with its precisely heightened neumes sitting on invisible lines. The elaborate vegetal rinceaux of in the initials drew the connections between music, fragrance, flowers, and the languorous wisps of smoke from burning incense, whose imagined slow rhythm fused with the tempo of the chants. Live auralizations immersed the voices of the singers in the resonant acoustics of Conques. The audience of Bing thus had the acoustic experience of hearing two places at once: the direct sound from the stage and the resonant late-field reverberation of the eleventh-century church. The team that produced this concert with its complex acoustics and visuals included: 

Bissera V. Pentcheva, professor, Art History Stanford University
Principal Investigator

Laura Steenberge, DMA 2016, Stanford University
Transcription of the Liturgy of Ste. Foy

Michael Ramsaur, emeritus professor, TAPS (Theatre and Performing Arts), Stanford University
Lighting Design and Scrim Projection

Miguel Novelo, MFA 2022, Stanford University
Computer modeling and film sequencing of the gold statue of Sainte-Foy

Jonathan Abel, consulting professor, CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics), Stanford University
Virtual Acoustics Modeling of the Abbey of Sainte-Foy at Conques 

Constantin Basica; Chris Chafe; Seán Ó Dálaigh; Hassan Estakhrian; Nette Worthey; Matt Wright

Ensemble Organum
Artistic Director: Marcel Pérès
Jean-Christophe Candau, vocals
Jerome Pierre-Toussaint Casalonga, vocals
Jean Etienne Langianni, vocals
Marcel Jean-Marie Dominique Peres, vocals
Antoine Marie Gilles Jacques Sicot, vocals
Frederic Paul Tavernier, vocals


Music from the Liturgy for Ste Foy
Anonymous, mid-eleventh century
From Paris B.N. n.a. lat. 443 and Paris B.N. lat. 1240
Transcription by Laura Steenberge 

Vespers Antiphon Haec est virgo prudens meritis 

Vespers Responsory:
Respond Emissiones tue, “Your aromas”
Verse Veni sponsa miscui, “Come my bride, mix” 
Doxology Gloria patri, “Glory to the Father”
Prosa Candida tu quia, “You are brighter”

Vespers Magnificat Antiphon Veneranda, “The Venerable Festivity”

Processional antiphon: O decus, “O Exceptional Glory” 


Seeing through Chant: Sainte-Foy at Conques
Documentary film, dir. Bissera V. Pentcheva, 17:59 min, 2022 

Versus de Sancto Marcialis Septuaginta Duo, “72 Verses for St. Martial”
Adémar of Chabannes (988/989-1034)
From Paris B.N. lat. 909
Polyphonic verses 

Preconia Virginis Laudes
Anonymous (twelfth century)
From Paris B.N. lat. 3719
Transcription by Malcolm Bothwell
Polyphonic chant

Alleluia Justus germinabit “The Just Will Sprout”
From Anonymous (twelfth century)
From Paris, B.N. lat. 903
Alleluia and verse

Alma chorus “Nourishing Choir
Anonymous (twelfth century)
From Paris B.N. lat. 3719
Transcription by Malcolm Bothwell
Polyphonic sequence

Stirps Jesse “The Shoot of Jesse”
Anonymous (twelfth century)
From Paris B.N. lat. 3549
Transcription by Malcolm Bothwell
Polyphonic Benedicamus trope

Program notes:

Concert Announcement:

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