In Christian religious music, the voice and its word dominates. In my interpretation, some composers of dark ambient and related electronic music genres from recent years have adopted this tradition of sacred music, while simultaneously deconstructing it. It is not music from a church or a monastery. Rather, it is composed of distorted echoes of such music. The bells echo to us from across a chasm in time or space, the choirs are ghostly, disembodied. Sometimes sound is literally taken apart, reduced to base elements, cracked open to reveal an inner void.
Accompanying his latest album, Mise en Abyme, Peter Andersson of raison d’être states:
Mise en Abyme is an inner journey down to the most hidden and dark parts of the Self. Mise en Abyme literally means ‘placed into the abyss’ and conceptually the album contains ingredients from The Divine Comedy by Dante or any similar stories/myths around the katabasis theme. Instead of being linked to religion, history or morality, it is purely a psychological and therapeutic trip to the underworld, investigating the subconscious. But even in the darkest and chaotic places in the depths, there are small shades of light, hope and understanding; one can be enlightened and purified upon returning to the conscious world.
This mix was partly composed in this spirit, placing pieces of sacred music from Christian history alongside the works that are inspired to go beyond that tradition.
Incipit Musica Catholica – Alleluia
Ensemble Organum – Alleluia – O Pimenon ton Israhil
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Heu mihi Domine
Incipit Musica Catholica – Mariam Matrem
raison d’être – In Lonelienes
Cisfinitum – Tactio III
Giacinto Scelsi – Alleluja
Troum – Palas Tyn
raison d’être – The Eternal Return and the Infinity Horizon
Cisfinitum – Devotio I
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Missae Papa Marcelli: Gloria
Gustaf Hildebrand – Ruins of a Failed Utopia
Rapoon – One Last Breath
Valentin Silvestrov – Diptychon: Testament
Akira Rabelais – 1440 Promp. Parv. 5182 Wawyn, or waueryn, yn a myry totyr, oscillo.