THE CISTERCIAN RESONANCE BOX
EXPERIENCE OF THE SOUNDSPACE . BUILT . IGREJA DO MOSTEIRO DE SANTA MARIA DE ALCOBAÇA . PORTUGAL . 2009 . PHOTOGRAPHY: TÂNIA ANDRADE
“S’il y a du chant, qu’il soit plein de gravité, ni lascif, ni rude. Qu’il soit doux sans être léger, qu’il charme l’oreille afin d’émouvoir le cœur, qu’il soulage la tristesse, qu’il calme la colère, qu’il ne vide pas le texte de son sens, mais le féconde”
St Bernard, letter 398
This concert offers the contemporary inhabitant a sensitive experience of the space; the combination between Music and Architecture insinuates the qualities of the Church of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça. The Cistercian chant that once here took place – monodic, with simple and purified shapes – has a stylistic affinity with its Architecture – also of proportioned shapes, reduced to the structure, expressing a clear and silent unity. So that we can verify this concept, in the first part of the concert we will listen to a reconstitution of a medieval Cistercian chant, contemporary of this monastery church. A reading of the acoustic qualities of this church will be pursued, through the experience of a particular soundspace . In the second part we will listen to a Gregorian chant. Although the latter is also a monotone chant, it differs from the Cistercian chant on what concerns to the style. This comparison will help us to understand how the reverberant space has the ability to accommodate the chant and impose a unique rhythm. Music and Architecture value each other and, through a peculiar feeling, enhance the echo of a Cistercian Spirituality.