Artists-in-Residence Alkemie to Perform Medieval Love Songs

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Alkemie Early Music Ensemble will perform “Love to My Liking: Refrains of Desire in Gothic France,” a concert of 13th century French songs on Friday, April 21, at First Presbyterian Church, 301 Jackson St., Fairmont.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the church and are free for students and $10 for the general public. The FSU Box Office can be reached at (304) 367-4240.

Alkemie was named the 2016-2017 Artists-In-Residence by the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts. The concert will be the culmination of a week’s worth of activities on the Fairmont State campus, including lessons with students, public lectures and masterclasses on medieval improvisation and Renaissance dance. The April concert will also feature students from the Fairmont State University Chamber Choir.

In an age long before iTunes, medieval French poet-composers—known as trouvères—penned the music they wanted to hear and share. Their songs of public and private adoration wove together allusions both sacred and secular, creating mystical and risqué meditations on love and longing. Reconstructed directly from medieval manuscripts, this concert program showcases some of the most captivating vocal music of the 13th-century.

“This concert is not to be missed,” says Fairmont State Prof. Brian F. Wright, “Not only is this music rarely performed, but Alkemie’s passion and attention to historical musical practices make their performances joyful and engaging.”

Founded in 2013, the Alkemie Early Music Ensemble is comprised of Tracy Cowert (mezzo-soprano), Elena Mullins (soprano), Sian Ricketts (soprano, recorders), Niccolo Seligmann (vielle, lute) and David McCormick (vielle). They specialize in the music of medieval Europe, and they especially enjoy the porous boundaries between the "high" and "low" music of this period—traversed repeatedly from clerics penning bawdy Latin poems in manuscript margins to courtly lovers evoking the mystical sublime.