Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hildegard's Cosmos, cont'd.

Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, presented the AMS President’s Endowed Plenary Lecture on 6 November 2014 at the American Musicological Society's annual meeting in Milwaukee. The talk was entitled “Hildegard’s Cosmos and Its Music: Making a Digital Model for the Modern Planetarium.” Our preliminary coverage HERE.

Margot Fassler
The work reported on in this talk is a collaborative effort involving forces performative, scholarly, and technological. Because of the way Hildegard describes her understanding of the cosmos in the treatise Scivias, the model unfolds in two acts. The First Act allows for the events that occur before the universe as she depicts it was set in motion with all its epic struggles, and the Second Act places the Cosmic Egg in motion, with zoomable features. To do this work, the creators have transformed flat illuminations into moving, sounding three-dimensional images, following Hildegard’s instructions for how they work as faithfully as possible. It is as though a twelfth-century composer wrote a storyboard for us to follow, lacking the technology herself.

The talk lasts about 50 minutes, and includes the lecture's visual and aural illustrations.

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