Weaving spirituality into music

Singers: The three-woman vocal ensemble Tapestry, performing in Annapolis this weekend, gives new meaning to the term "soul music."

Concert

Arundel Live

March 23, 2000|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Attention, New Agers and others seeking spiritual sustenance through music: Tapestry, a Boston-based vocal ensemble of three women, will perform at St. John's College's McDowell Hall at 7 p.m. Sunday.

This group's spiritual programming draws from a variety of sources. Its concerts abound with music of the medieval period, Eastern European folk songs and religious chants, Hebrew prayers, and contemporary fare.

The group's recent compact disc, "The Fourth River: The Millennium Revealed" (Telarc 80534), makes for fascinating listening.

With a fourth singer and a percussionist, Tapestry performs such mystically charged selections as Byzantine chants, a 10th-century pilgrim's ode to the glory of Christian Rome, a tribute to the Angels of the Apocalypse, prayers from Judaism's High Holy Days liturgy, and Robert Kyr's "Dance of Life" inspired by the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

The medieval spirit is everywhere.

Several songs come from the Middle Ages. The more contemporary works come from composers seeking to capture the medieval sound with wide-open harmonies, endlessly melismatic solo lines, and evocative dissonances of all colors and magnitudes.

Not to worry: Plenty of musical substance accompanies the New Age "hearts and flowers."

The singing on "Fourth River" is delivered with power and dramatic flair.

Listening only to women's voices for more than an hour can be tedious, as the sameness of timbre starts to wear thin, but Tapestry kept me involved from beginning to end.

Tapestry appears under the auspices of Chamber Music Annapolis.

Tickets to the concert are $20 at the door.

Information: 410-849-2494.

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