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An evening of sacred chant by the 12th century mystic and abbess, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). The evening’s music is sung in complete candlelight by Norma Gentile. This is a sacred space dedicated with poetry, music, and silence.

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A mystic and abbess who founded two monasteries for women, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) wrote seven books on the subject of medicine, theology, herbology, biology and botany, as well as two biographies of saints. She included seventy-seven songs, all of them sacred monophonic chants with Latin texts, in her first theological book, Scivias.

The tenth child of a noble family, she was promised to the church as a tithe, and came to live in a hermitage at the age of eight. In 1136 she was elected abbess of a growing group of women which was adjunct to a men's Benedictine monastery. Throughout her life she experienced unusual clairvoyance and visionary experiences. She suppressed these until about 1141, when she was commanded, through a vision, to write and speak about her knowledge and insights gained from these experiences. Failing to do so, she became seriously ill, and did not arise from her bed until she began in earnest to write Scivias. Her understanding of music may be characterized best by her own words, "symphonialis est anima" or "the soul is symphonic".

Norma Gentile is a professional singer (B.M., M.M.) and trained auric healer who specializes in the music of Hildegard von Bingen. Her love of early music began at the University of Michigan where she worked with harpsichordist and conductor Edward Parmentier. Freshly out of college she moved to Spain where she co-founded the performing ensemble Cuadro Musical with Eduardo Lopez Banzo while researching and teaching early vocal music. Returning to the US she founded and directed the ensemble Oriana, served on the Board of Directors of The Academy for the Study and Performance of Early Music, and continued her studies of esoteric healing. Also a conductor, she led one of the first period-instrument performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria with members of Ars Musica and has coached or directed many choirs, including Our Lady’s Madrigal Singers and Los Infantes del Pilar. She currently resides near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her concerts, workshops and recordings reflect her passion in bringing music from the inaudible realms into the physical world for healing purposes. Her discography includes Meditation Chants of Hildegard von Bingen, (Ave Maria Press), and Unfurling Love’s Creation, (Lyrichord Discs), both of which have been hailed for the qualities of spiritual clarity, genuineness and intimacy which her singing reveals in the music.

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