LITANY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The sacred domain, in which the human being had dwelt since primordial times, ended up being destroyed by the beginning of the 20th century, which is what Nietzsche meant, when he proclaimed by his famous words “God is dead”; so, presently, the contemporary world could be compared to the ruins of Jerusalem, lamented by the prophet Jeremiah. The ancient sacred domain of the Gregorian plainchant still exists in its outward appearance in our world, but in essence it had lost its previously existing life energy. “Litanies to the Virgin Mary” present an attempt to create a new sacred dimension, formed from those components, which are still presently on hand, notably, from the fragments and debris of the old sacred domain of the Gregorian chant.
The Litany or supplication have only one sole aim - the salvation of the soul. But as we live in a multifarious world this supplication falls into numerous supplications: for peace, for health, for deliverance from hunger, cold and other misfortunes and disasters. in connection with these numerous supplications the Virgin Mary has numerous names. These names are who are enumerated in this prayer text.
The music of the “Litanies” is based on a set of Gregorian antiphons to the Virgin Mary: Alma Mater Redemptoris, Ave Regina caelorum, Regina caeli and Salve Regina. These antiphons are separated into their basic constituent parts and then assembled into a new order, in which the elements of different antiphons are intermixed with each other, thus forming a new structure. In the process of this assemblage some contemporary compositional techniques are used as well as some archaic means of sound production, moreover special attention is paid to a new conception of special placement of the performers on stage, in which each spacial point should become an autonomous source of sound; as a result of this the monologue quality of single-dimensionality transforms itself into a dialogue and even a tri-logue quality of poly-dimensionality. In this new acoustical spacial dimension the most important words in the text of “Litanies” – «Christe audi nos» (Christ hear us) – are supposed to transform into a physically tangible, all-penetrating substance of sound, the immersion into which is what lies at the core of the union of our consciousness with the reality of the new sacred dimension.
Translation by Anton Rovner
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