When King FM broadcast Eleanor & Hildegard earlier this year, they made an awesome video.

The video is only part of the piece, but it gives a great impression not just of the whole work, but also of how awesome Elspeth Davis, Tania Asnes, King FM, and The Sound Ensemble are. (p.s. if you’re in Seattle, there’s a Sound Ensemble concert tonight that you should totally check out).

And, because it’s been requested, here’s the text of Eleanor & Hildegard (in all its various languages):

Poem by Tania Asnes:
Dear magistra, my orphaned heart
I lay upon your tender palms

Lioness in darkest wilderness
licks at wounds and opens them again
loath to return to the world of men.
Henry casts his favor on the rose
that buries seeds in heart and soil
thorning the hills of my inheritance.

Mother of lands and of men
maternity has not felled me
let masculinity try again!
The devil’s consort I became

Eleanor’s Flashback
Can Vei La Lauzeta Mover, by Bernart de Ventadorn, who composed at her court
Can vei la lauzeta mover
De joi sas alas contral rai,
Que s’oblid’ es laissa chazer
Per la doussor c’al cor li vai,
Ai! Tan grans enveya m’en ve
De cui qu’eu veya jauzion.

English Translation of the Occitan (source)
When I see the lark
Spread its wings for joy and fly towards the sun,
Forget itself, and fall
In the bliss that rushes to its heart
Alas! How I then envy
All creatures that I see happy.

Continuation of the poem by Tania Asnes:

The devil’s consort I became
so many moves we women make
are in preemptive self-defense.

His likeness stamped in metal
no alchemy can sanctify
let the crucible melt it down.
Gold, it’s true, too soft to wield
yet let him forge his drooping blade
and sheath it in irrelevance.

My hands grow weary at the loom
king the warp and heirs the weave
patterns of these politics
make a wretched tapestry
a journeywoman longs to cut
the threads of her obedience.

Dear magistra, my orphaned heart
I lay upon your tender palms.

Hildegard’s Letter:
Mens tua similis est parieti, qui est in vicissitudine nubis, et undique circrumspicis, sed requiem non habes. Istud fuge et sta in stabilitate cum Deo et hominibus, et in omnibus tribulationibus tuis Deus adiuuabit te. Deus benedictionem et auxilium suum in omnibus operibus tuis tibi det.

English Translation of the Latin (source):
Your mind is like a wall which is covered with clouds, and you look everywhere but have no rest. Flee this and attain stability with God and men, and God will help you in all your tribulations. May God give you his blessing and help in all your works.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.