The Anchoress

Album cover art for upc 864190000291
Label:
Catalog: XAS110
Format: COMPACT DISC

Renaissance Band, The; Levy, Matthew; Yu, Hyunah; Piffaro; Stillman, Mimi; PRISM Quartet

Soprano Hyunah Yu, the PRISM Quartet, and Piffaro, The Renaissance Band present a one-woman monodrama that combines voice with modern saxophones and period instruments, inspired by a real historical phenomenon: the medieval Christians (mostly women) who became “living saints” by sequestering themselves in permanently sealed “anchorholds” (cells) attached to churches. Created by poet Katie Ford and composer David Ludwig, The work explores struggles with faith, alienation, gender, and social power through the imagined person of an anchoress, described by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in her liner notes as "a paradoxical figure: Buried alive, she is sought out for her wisdom. Encased in perpetual darkness, she is considered clairvoyant. Dead to the world, she becomes a pillar of her community." The Anchoress “conjures a time of medieval mysticism, but the social dynamic it highlights—one that honors women only by relegating them—is not bound by any era” (The New Yorker).