Music based on Gregorian themes.
”In the autumn of 2015, Malmö Live Vokalensemble performed Thierry Machuel’s ”Paroles contre l’oubli” – words against oblivion. In a large-scale art project, prisoners serving a life sentence at the Clairvaux high-security prison in north-eastern France were interviewed by the composer, who set their stories to music. The piece is incredibly dark, coloured by the innermost thoughts of individuals who know they will never again be free, people who are slipping into oblivion.
Clairvaux wasn’t always a prison, though – it was formerly an important monastery. Established by St. Bernhard in 1115 and closed in connection with the French Revolution, Clairvaux is a mythic place. For some, it is an abbey where thousands of monks voluntarily chose the path of saints, plunging themselves into the blessed silence of darkness. For others, it is a prison, the sheer name of which inspires terror and generates horrific images.
My intention was that we, with our concert, would create a bridge between the present and the past, between incarceration and voluntary solitude. So I sought out the historical sources for our earliest notated music, from the French abbey of Solemn, and composed a variety of versions based on Gregorian themes. Kyrie and Agnus Dei are two of them.” – Sofia Söderberg