What's playing on this page:

After Humility, the group Virtues (sung live by the four Hildegurls) meet Karitas (Charity), then Timor Dei (Fear of God). They profess "burning desire" to run to Charity and to Fear of God they avow the usefulness and importance of that virtue.

The Devil interrupts the dialogue to taunt the Virtues in Latin (Kitty Brazelton), French (Lisa Bielawa), English (Eve Beglarian), and German (Elaine Kaplinsky). Live the Hildegurls transform suddenly into Devils and then revert to virtue and overcome him.

Beneath Fear of God you may hear a faint drumbeat which comes close and closer.The "drum" is the sound of a door slamming during a Hildegurls recording session at Columbia University Computer Music Center, led by composer Kitty Brazelton which she used to draw all the materials to create the soundtrack for Act II.

During this recording session, Brazelton asked Beglarian and then-Hildegurl Mary Jane Leach to join her in recording a Dorian scale (D-E-F-G-A, below to A-B-C) singing the syllables "Ve-", "ni-", "te", "ad", "me", "Vir-", "tu-", "tes", from the phrase "Venite ad me Virtutes" which is repeated over and over by each individual Virtue as she enters (see Charity below and Humility during Excerpt 1). This scale (transposed and altered with other CMIX processes) underlies the entire Act II as a sort of organum-length cantus firmus. You can hear Eve singing "te ad" unprocessed at the very end of this excerpt.

While the Hildegurls were recording, some Columbia students were setting up for a "happening" in the room next door and happened to slam the door. Brazelton politely asked them to be more quiet and they politely agreed. The recording session resumed and the door slammed again.

So the door-slam became the bass drum. Its reverb envelope was cut off and amplified logarithmically to create a crisp snare drum backbeat and the surprised reaction of the Hildegurls became the sound of the Devil interrupting the Virtues. With a little dose of granular synthesis.

Karitas Charity

Ego Karitas, flos amabilis.
Venite ad me, Virtutes, et perducam vos.

I am Charity, the lovely flower.
Come to me, Virtues, and I will lead you all.

Virtutes (ad Karitem):

Virtues (to Charity):

O dilectissime flos, ardenti desiderio currimus ad te.

O most darling flower, with burning desire we run to you.

Timor Dei:

Fear of God:

Ego, Timor Dei, vos felicissimas filias.

I am the Fear of God, you most fortunate of daughters.

Virtutes: Virtues:
O Timor, valde utilis es nobis:

habemus enim perfectum studium numquam a te separari.
O Fear, how important and useful you are to us;
so much that we are utterly eager never to separate from you.
Diabolus: Devil:
Euge! euge! quis est tantus timor?

et quis est tantus amor?
Ubi est pugnator, et ubi est remunerator?
Vos nescitis quid colitis.
Great job! What are you so scared of?
Who's your hot new lover?
Where is the fighter, and who gets the prize?
You do not know what it is you worship.

The 6 Women Creators