Brooklyn-based medieval music ensemble Alkemie makes their Berkshires debut with a performance of Verdant Medicine: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary, inspired by the life and writings of the twelfth century mystic, medic, and musician Hildegard von Bingen.
This performance will take place in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Following the performance, join us at 6:30 p.m. for a reception on the WCMA Patio. Galleries will remain open until 8 p.m.
This multi-dimensional 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. “Intersensory Program Cards,” hand-made for the performance, pair Hildegard’s music, texts, and associated images with materials that audiences can literally smell, taste, touch, and hear.
Founded in 2013, 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. Alkemie’s members are also committed to the lively teaching of medieval and Renaissance performance practice and history. Since 2018 they have maintained a partnership with the Medieval Studies program at Fordham University.