What's playing on this page:

Humility, the Queen of the Virtues (sung and pre-recorded by composer Kitty Brazelton), flies in to introduce herself to the collective schola of of Virtues (sung live in unison by the four Hildegurls). This antiphonal requirement, an answering group, was interpreted by Grethe Holby as novitiates. Brazelton's thought is that the non-individuated Virtues reflect the Order or Ordo of Hildegard's own convent for whose benefit this opera would have been performed originally, or more importantly they represent the medieval ecclesia---the concept of the Church as arising from a collective spirituality.

Brazelton has also attempted to show with her musical setting the essential component of fear or awe with which medievals embraced their religious cosmology during what C.S.Lewis called "age of authority."

Hence Humility is not gentle and her accompaniment is severe and "awe"-some.

All the sounds you hear were created by Brazelton from the sound of her own voice using CMIX at an SGI-workstation and such processes as granular synthesis, ring modulation and phase-vocoding, at the Columbia University Computer Music Center.




Ego, Humilitas, regina Virtutum, dico:
venite ad me, Virtutes,
et enutriam vos ad requirendam perditam dragmam
et ad coronandum in perseverantia felicem.

I am Humility, queen of the Virtues. I say:
come to me, all you Virtues, and I shall nurture you so that you may search for the lost penny and crown the lucky one who perseveres.



O gloriosa regina, et o suavissima mediatrix, libenter venimus.

O glorious queen and gentlest mediator, willingly we come to you.