Notes and Editorial Reviews
Selections recorded at SONY Studios in New York, Whitfield Street Studios in London, Glenstal Abbey in Ireland, Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, and at Bleach Bros. Music, Moose Camp Studios.
Conceived by the keyboardist and composer Richard Souther in "collaboration" with Hildegard of Bingen, 'Illumination' is a modern reworking of sacred music by the celebrated Benedictine Abbess from the 12th century.
Utilizing a gentle percussion background on some pieces and evocative washes of electronic sounds on others, Souther is accompanied by Cello, a quartet of cellists. Davy Spillane (whose talents also grace several movie soundtracks including 'Rob Roy' and 'Michael Collins') also performs on low whistles and Uillean pipes to great effect.
The ethereal vocals are provided by Sister Germaine Fritz, Katie McMahon (of 'Riverdance' fame) and the Gaelic soprano Noirin Ni Riain, who has a wide acquaintance with sacred music ranging from Gregorian chant to songs of the American Shakers.
While this recording may not be ideal for purists, it serves as a wonderful introduction for newcomers to Hildegard of Bingen as well as for the adventurous listener who finds intriguing the idea of mixing a late 20th century pop music style with a medieval sensibility.