In 1998, David Lynch completed work on a new album by Jocelyn Montgomery, the Scottish fiddle player seen in Pretty as a Picture. The album is based on 12th century verses by Hildegard von Bingen. The album was released in the US on August 25, 1998.
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Lux Vivens: The Music Of Hildegard Von Bingen
Jocelyn Montgomery, David Lynch
Click on each song title to hear a real audio clip of the song.
Requires Real player.
In the fall of 1996, Jocelyn and co-producer Heidrun Reshoeft took a trip along the Rhine river valley to explore the historical sites of Hildegard von Bingen's life: Disibodenberg, the convent Hildegard entered at the age of eight; Eibingen, the second convent she founded, where today nuns still live and work in the monastic daily routine of Hildegard's time; Rupertsberg in Bingen, where in her late 40's Hildegard founded her own convent, and lived and worked until her death in 1179. It is at the monastery after a performance of Hildegard's songs by Jocelyn that the idea of producing an album of Hildegard's music from a unique, modern perspective takes shape.Video clips from the making of Lux Vivens:
Heidrun Reshoeft (co-producer): Jocelyn's interpretation required a composer who could take you to different levels of consciousness. So in David (Lynch) I saw the most ideal artist to create this musical soundscape with a great sense of spirituality guided by Hildegard's timeless, meaningful visions..
John Neff (engineer): Working with David is a very unique experience. He has musical training. He used to play the trumpet for many years, and he can still read music. He has from all the years in film, and as a visual artist, he presents all the ideas, the suggestions for the sonic path, as visual or emotional imagery. The challenge was to come up with a way to make it sound that way. The only thing missing on the record is the movie. When you hear it, it's like you're looking at a great big movie screen. The only thing missing is the picture. Your mind has to fill that in.
Jocelyn Montgomery: The experiences I've had singing Hildegard and performing it, is that it's always been a very natural and instinctive thing. I've always deeply identified with it. It's the most beautiful music I've ever come across ... ever sung.
John Neff (engineer): Usually in a session a singer has to psych themself up. They have to listen to it. They want to rehearse. They don't want a microphone on for a little bit. And she (Montgomery) just walked down into the room and bang, out it came. David would say, "Well, would you like to sing?" And she'd go, "Okay!," traipse down into the room, put on her headphones. She'd be singing before I had the signal up. You didn't have things plugged in and she's going for it. And then what came out was just astounding.
Mark Seagraves (DAW engineer): When we started doing this record, we investigated a lot of the images that Hildegard created from her visions. And that really struck me after being able to step away from the technical process, that we really realized that we achieved this message that is really coming from the heart and soul of a human being and reaching out before it's gone.
Jocelyn Montgomery: There's this great thing they do in Hebrdian churches, and basically all the people in the congregation start the psalm at whatever point they want to after each other. You just get this amazing kind of coffly of wailing voices. And I had that idea in mind when I did Hodie. David took the sound of a singing bull that we played in the studio and de-tuned it. And then he put three more de-tuned singing bull notes in the back to create a kind of drone triad. And then I sang over that. And resang and resang. And everything was moving around and creating this amazing sort of spherical atmosphere. And the voices were panning from the different speakers, and it was like being in the sky.
Jocelyn Montgomery started playing the fiddle when she was six. Her grandfather was a Scottish fisherman and fiddle-maker. In 1991, Katherine Blake, Kelly McKusker and Jocelyn Montgomery met at England's Purcell School of Music. The trio formed the group Miranda Sex Garden. They soon caught the attention of Barry Adamson (featured on the soundtrack to Lost Highway). Adamson had them sing on his soundtrack to the 1991 film "Delusion" which led to a record deal with Mute Records. Their debut album was entitled "Madra," which was comprised of mostly acapella madrigals. Jocelyn left the group soon afterwards to pursue a solo career.
Jocelyn Montgomery also recorded a demo entitled "And Still" with Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti.
In 1996, West came in for a five minute meeting with Lynch. It ended up lasting seven hours, and the song "And Still" was the result. Lynch wrote the lyrics with Artie Polemisis' wife (Artie runs the studio in New York), Estelle.
Hear a sample from "And Still" (requires Real Audio)
Lyrics to "And Still"
The Clouds Move By
A Garden Wall
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