Connected to FoAM’s Borrowed Scenery project, Stevie Wishart is composing a new ode to Viriditas, a chant for trees and voices, evoking the ecological atmospheres of the great mystic, composer and herbalist Saint Hildegard von Bingen, who will be canonised this year. Hildegard will be the first composer in the history of Western music to be made a saint. In this light, ‘The Inner Garden of Viriditas’ acknowledges and honours the themes in Hildegard’s work which have contemporary relevance, most notably her concept of Viriditas, which could be seen as a form of eco-spirituality today.
Finding words to describe this concept is difficult; it is something like 'greenness' - the indescribable sense of beauty emanating from the green life force of nature. Music, song and performance can communicate Viriditas on sensory and synaesthetic levels. Visitors’ voices and movement through an enclosed garden in Ghent will complete the piece as a musical invocation. For the first time, FoAM and Vooruit will join voices to invoke the spirit of infinite greenness.
O nobilissima viriditas O most noble greenness you whose roots are in the sun and who in luminous serenity shine in a wheel that no earthly eminence comprehends You are encompassed in embraces of divine ministries You who redden like the dawn burning like the flame of the sun