Consort of the Moon imagines a new choral ritual, built from the echoes of an ancient melody.
It’s a new sound work created with Erkki Veltheim and a brilliant team of collaborators. Consort of the Moon transforms an ancient melody into an elemental experience of communal listening, both to each other, and to the wild earth.
We’re fascinated by music’s ability to bring people together to form spontaneous communities, to create a sense of ritual, ceremony and belonging.
Consort of the Moon is based on a melody referred to as Hurrian Hymn No. 6, the oldest known work of notated music. It was recorded around 1400BC, and rediscovered in the 1950s in present-day Syria on a damaged clay tablet. The song is an ode to Nikkal, Hurrian Goddess of orchards and fertility, and Consort of the Moon. Scholars believe the song was accompanied by a 9-string lyre, and while much of the reconstructed melody is conjecture, carefully researched versions exist, revealing a haunting tune.
We’re interested both in the melody, and the fact that its sound, along with the Bronze Age civilisation that created it, has been lost from memory. Reimagined by an exceptional group of creative artists, Consort of the Moon is a collective act of recalling both our ancient capacity for music-making, and its origin in the natural world. Encircled by sound, we become part of a communal instrument, using threads of an ancient melody to knit together a group of strangers in resonance with one another and the living earth.