Chapel Perilous exists to provide immersive and subversive music experiences
Our first concert will be in St. Michael’s Church, Highgate at 8pm on the 9th of July, as part of the inaugural Muswell Hill Music Festival.
Chapel Perilous first appears in Arthurian Legend, a chapel guarded by thirty great and terrifying knights clad all in black. Sir Lancelot must enter past them, and in doing so and escaping alive, save the life of Sir Meliot, a fellow of the round table.
In modern-day psycology, Chapel Perilous is also a mental state in which one cannot be sure whether one has been or is being helped or hindered by a force outside of the natural world.
There are many musical ideas that don’t have a chance to progress beyond ideas. Chapel Perilous exists to nurture new concepts and provide meditative and immersive experiences.
It was next to this building in Firenze that Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burnt by a mob in 1505.
Imprisoned near to this spot he wrote Infelix Ego, a meditation on Psalm 51, which became famous across Europe in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
Amiens’ huge Cathedral was so near to the trenches during WW1 that it was shelled on several occasions.
David Jones served in the Royal Welsh battalion and fought on the 6th day of the battle of the Somme at Mametz Wood, about an hours drive from Amiens, the location of the culmination of his epic poem: ‘In Parenthesis’.
Arvo Pärt lives and works in Laulasmaa in Estonia. An hour’s bus journey from Tallinn, Laulasmaa is the site of the Arvo Pärt centre, founded in 2011, where the archives of his life’s work are stored, and concerts of his music are given in a beautiful hall.
Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Herbert Howells and Ivor Gurney were all born in Gloucestershire.
Vaughan-Williams and Gurney both served in the trenches in WW1. Gurney’s Severn Meadows is one of the most beautiful musical reflections on this stunning part of the world.
An hours’ meditation, with chamber works by Arvo Pärt and John Tavener, alongside works Giacinto Scelsi and Hildegard von Bingen.
July 9th, St. Michael’s Highgate.
Time of Distress
photos copyright Guy James