Thursday, January 31, 2008

Old meets new on the Santiago pilgrimage


Recycling is an essential part of the creative process. My photo above was taken last September and shows the West Portal of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, which is generally considered be the most outstanding example of Provencal Romanesque architecture in southern France.

Below is the magnificent portal recycled in the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie paid the town of Gard 2000 gold francs to allow plaster casts to be taken of the portal. The casts were shipped across the Atlantic in 195 packing cases and assembled in Pittsburgh for the 1907 opening of the museum's Hall of Architecture.

The Abbey of Saint-Gilles-du-Gard is one of the staging posts on the most southerly of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago in Spain, which starts in nearby Arles. In 2005 composer Joby Talbot indulged in some creative recycling when he incorporated the hymn Dum Pater Familias and other pilgrim tunes into his choral work Path of Miracles which celebrates the Santiago pilgrimage. Read more about Path of Miracles here.

On Sunday February 3rd I will be playing the final two of the four parts of Path of Miracles on Future Radio. My programme is broadcast at 5.00pm on Sunday afternoon, and will be repeated at 1.00am on Monday morning for transatlantic listeners, which is afternoon or evening Sunday in their time zones.

I'm framing Path of Miracles with two excerpts from the 1991 recording of music from the Pilgimage to Santiago made by the New London Consort directed by Philip Pickett. This draws on the 12th century Codex Calixtinus also used by Joby Talbot. The New London Consort disc is a classic release from L'Oiseau-Lyre's Indian summer, and it has recently been re-released at budget price - grab it while you can. Read the L'Oiseau Lyre story here.


Listen on Future Radio at 5.00pm UK time this Sunday Feb 3 and Monday Feb 4 in real time here (convert to local time zones here). Windows Media Player doesn't like the audio stream very much and takes ages to buffer. WinAmp or iTunes handle it best. Unfortunately the royalty license doesn't permit on-demand replay, so you have to listen in real time. If you are in the Norwich, UK area tune to 96.9FM. Photo (c) On An Overgrown Path 2008. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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