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© 2023, MaLoMaLo Press

for Amplified Flute and Tape

Duration: 8:00 min.

Program Notes:

Smaragdus, “emerald” in Latin, is a gem that St. Hildegard von Bingen recommends for treating illnesses such as pain in the heart, stomach, side, or head, epilepsy, excessive saliva, or attack of gnawing worms. Because the smaragdus grows in the early morning from the heat of the sun and the “greenness” of the air that causes all things to grow, it absorbs heat and vibrancy can be passed along to cure a sick person. In O Splendidissima Gemma, an antiphon by St. Hildegard, she calls Mary a gemstone resplendent with the bright beauty of the sun. She speaks of Christ’s participation in bringing forth all of creation from the primal matter and his flowing into the world like a fountain through Mary in order to cure creation from the confusion into which Eve threw it. The overall image that this led me to portray was that of a primordial cave containing a pool. A spring flows into one side of the pool, while ocean waves ebb and flow on the other. An emerald shines forth from the bottom of the pool, illuminating St. Hildegard as a nymph, singing her antiphon and speaking her medical wisdom.

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