Of All the Flowers

On January 28, 2020, Winnipeg’s Camerata Nova premiered Of All the Flowers at a wonderful concert during the Winnpeg New Music Festival WNMF-2020.

The piece is inspired by and uses recordings of Guillaume de Machaut’s chanson De Toutes Flours that I made of the choir and the keyboard player Katelyn Clark. I recorded various arrangements of the work I had made as well as their improvisations on certain lines. I also used embellishments of the chanson recorded in the 15th-century in the Codex Faenza.

Guillaume de Machaut survived 2 of the most severe bouts of the Black Death, which decimated 2/3 of the population of Europe. His patrons either perished from the disease or from fighting in the Hundred Year’s War that raged at the time. And yet, Machaut’s poetry and music never gives up hope.

Here is an excerpt that combines a couple of parts of the 15-minute work:

Thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for supporting the creation of this work.