Materia Mystica

Release Information 1998
Estampie: Materia Mystica


With a hommage to Hildegard von Bingen, the Munich-based Ensemble ESTAMPIE makes an unexpected step into a new direction, treading yet unexplored terrain.

ESTAMPIE have always been good for a surprise, crossing frontiers between different musical styles.

The ensemble started as a conventional ensemble for Ancient Music, operating on the field of Ancient (medieval) music with profound knowledge of the instruments and modulations - always concerned with the so-called “authentical performance practise of early music”.

But experience has shown that this approach can only be applied to the later noted-down music. As medieval music derives from improvisation, it is impossible to use the term “authentical” here. Nevertheless, medieval music is more suitable than almost any other for meeting with other musical styles and even frontier-crossing projects with dancing, theater and art.

The first issue of this new approach is the album of the 13th century mystery play “Ludus Danielis”. It is not “authenticity” which alone counts anymore, but the attempt to convert the dynamic inherent to this mystery play. The next step into that direction is the album “Crusaders” - a selection of medieval music dealing with the crusades. For this album, ESTAMPIE worked with a producer from the pop music scene - together they created a completely new sound, which no longer cared for what might have been authentic or not.

But ESTAMPIE weren’t themselves, if they kept a once found style forever. On their current produciton “Materia Mystica”, they deal with the German female mystic Hildegard von Bingen. ESTAMPIE composed a new music for the texts and melodies of the mystic, which might be compared with minimal music, world music or Arvo Pärt.

Again, ESTAMPIE seeked an overall-concept, a synthesis of different art fields.

Together with the performance- and video-artists SLOT A LOT, the ESTAMPIE music was first performed on march 6. and 7. 1998 at the reknowned Reithalle, Munich. The performance is centred upon Hildegard von Bingen’s visions of the four elements, transformed into new music and - typically ESTAMPIE - played on old instruments.

Track list:
  • Luft/Air: Ego sum dulcis conspectrix, O vivens vita / Qui sunt hi, O antiqui sancti, Aer enim volat Kyrie / Geblendet
  • Erde/Earth: O quam amara, O laudabilis mater / O ignis spiritus / Werd als ein Kind
  • Wasser/Water: Ego caritas, O dilectissime flos / O clarissima mater / Tränen / Perlen
  • Feuer/Fire: Ich- die höchste feurige Kraft, Ego victoria