Perichoresis in Music

1. Michael Alcorn – Perichoresis 1990 for Wind Quintet

Michael Alcorn
Prof. Michael Alcorn

While I was working on my doctoral research, on the topic of the Patristic concept of perichoresis, as applied to ecclesiology,  I came across a musical piece by Northern  Irish composer Michael Alcorn, Head of the School of Creative Arts at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Making a Song and Dance

This composition is called Perichoresis 1990, for Wind Quintet, and was recorded in 1998 on the CD titled Making a Song and Dance, by Neuma recording studio. The DC contains recordings of compositions by Michael Alcorn, Piers Hellawell, and Kevin Volans.

You may listen HERE to about 20sec from the 12.45 seconds composition. (I have to warn those not very steeped into modern music, that the sound is quite strange. :-))

* * *

2. Nadja – Perichoresis

Nadja group (Leah Buckareff
and Aidan Baker)

An even much stranger sounding piece, inspired by the same concept, is Perichoresis, by the electronic music group Nadja.

Nadja is Aidan Baker (guitars/vocals/drum programming) & Leah Buckareff (bass/vocals). Originally formed in 2003 as a Baker solo project, the now-duo creates ambient-drone-metal, combining ambient electronics & fragmentary vocals w/ snail-crawl, epic riffs & dirge-like percussion [whatever that is]. (Source, HERE)

The composition was recorded for the first time in 2008 on a vinyl LP called Trinitarian, and appeared again in 2012 on a double CD compilation called Excision.

You may listen HERE to this composition.

I was not able to find out where originates these artists’ interest in such ‘esoteric’ theological topics. If this intrigues it, and it did intrigued me, read more about Nadja on their Facebook profile. Here is just a fragment:

Nadja is a duo of Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff alternately based in Toronto, Canada & Berlin, Germany. Nadja originally began in 2003 as a solo project for Baker to explore the heavier/noisier side of his experimental/ambient guitar-based music. In 2005 Buckareff joined in order to make the project more than just a studio endeavour & allow Nadja to perform live.

Nadja creates music that has been variously described as drone metal, ambient doom, and shoegazer, combining soundscapes, electronics, & atmospheric vocals & tempering the cacophony with an ethereal melodicism such that the listener is enveloped in a sublimating wall of amorphous sound.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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