Le Lai de la Fonteinne: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30th @ 7:30PM



Le Lai de la Fonteinne 

Vajra Voices

with Shira Kammen, Harp & Vielle

Karen R. Clark, director

vajra voices

Vajra Voices comes together to study, rehearse, and perform early to modern music. Holding the questions of what makes historical music authentic, and gives modern relevance to ancient western traditions, each member of Vajra Voices contributes her unique voice, life knowledge, and musical expertise to create meaning and expression. In addition to holding degrees from leading music schools, including Indiana University, Case Western, and Stanford University, members of Vajra Voices have studied privately in the studio of director, Karen R. Clark where embodying technical skill and a deep understanding of text and vocal styles is emphasized. In early music, such as the medieval music of Hildegard von Bingen we develop our own transcriptions based on Hildegard’s original notation found in existent manuscripts (Dendermonde, and Riesen Codex). In rehearsal, we recite the texts of the songs together—repeatedly— to determine the meaning, nuance, and flow of each phrase. In new music, we seek to work with the composer whenever possible. Our goal is to be as informed as possible on the intent behind the notation such that we convey— as fully as possible— the meaning. Members of Vajra Voices are active music educators in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allison Zelles Lloyd is a Music Education Specialist at St. Mary’s College, Cheryl Moore teaches Renaissance & Baroque Dance, Amy Stuart Hunn is a conductor, and others are active as a private vocal instructors. Director, Karen R. Clark has served as faculty on many workshop series, to include, Chanticleer, the San Francisco Early Music Society, and the Madison Festival, and has coached ensembles such as the Seattle Medieval Women’s Choir, UC Berkeley Chamber Singers, and Tinctoris Five at Stanford University. Vajra Voices looks forward to presenting workshops for singers and ensemble directors and welcomes inquiries and invitations. www.vajravoices.com

Machaut's Le Lai de la Fonteinne

Le Lai de la Fonteinne (The Lay of the Fountain) will be sung by the women’s chamber ensemble Vajra Voices, directed by Karen Clark. They will be joined by Shira Kammen on harp and vielle in a rarely heard work by 14th Century French composer Guillaume de Machaut. Also, on the program are more recent works of Zoltan Kodaly, and Shira Kammen.

Le Lai de la Fonteinne is in essence a prayer and hymn of praise to the Virgin and a meditation on the nature of the Trinity, likened by the poet to a fountain. The fountain itself, the stream flowing from it and its source are three apparently separate things, which in reality are one: God the Father is the source, the fountain is the Son, and the stream is the Holy Ghost. The cleansing and thirst-quenching properties of water, its strength to remain itself even as ice or vapor, the fount of harmony and purity – all are invoked as images uniting in the vision of the Virgin as the true foundation of faith: “just like water the sweet fruit of life took on human flesh and human shape in your empty womb.”

                                                                                                                          – Paul Hillier, The Hilliard Ensemble

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Multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia and Japan, and on the Colorado, Rogue, Green, Grande Ronde, East Carson and Klamath Rivers.

Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several groups: a medieval ensemble, Fortune’s Wheel: a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; an English Country Dance band, Roguery,the early music ensembles Cançoniér and In Bocca al Lupo, as well as frequent collaborations with performers such as storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, medieval music experts Margriet Tindemans and Anne Azema, and in many theatrical and dance productions. She has worked with students in many different settings, among them teaching summer music workshops in the woods, coaching students of early music at Yale University, Case Western, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and working at specialized seminars at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland

She has played on several television and movie soundtracks, including ‘O’, a modern high school-setting of Othello and ‘’The Nativity Story’, and has accompanied many diverse artists in recording projects, among them singers Azam Ali and Joanna Newsom. Some of her original music can be heard in an independent film about fans of the work of JRR Tolkien. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. She has recently taken courses in Taiko drumming and voiceover acting.  shirakammen.com

Arlington Community Church
52 Arlington Avenue

Purchase Tickets

Refreshments, wine and snacks provided.
Tickets: $20 General Admission; $15 Seniors;
$10 Students at the door

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