Ritual Echoes

(4 musicians)

This program, created during the 2022 ShUM (Speyer, Worms, Mainz) artist in residence program, is inspired by the 13th century mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) that still survives, miraculously, in Speyer. The Mikve played (and in many communities, still plays) an important role in the community: among other rituals, it is the place where a married woman undergoes her monthly ritual bath of purification. The program tries to recreate the feminine soundscape of medieval Ashkenaz, the happy and sad moments a Jewish woman might have experienced throughout the day, week, month, holidays and the important moments of the life cycle. In Ritual Echoes, each of the four female performers symbolically performs a role associated with the mikveh: the midwife, an older woman who would have assured that each woman left meticulously clean; the religious leader of the women in the congregation, responsible for educating girls and their mothers. The menstruant, a woman of childbearing age, but also a wife, mother and entrepreneur; and the bride, enjoying her last ritual bath, accompanied by her friends, before the wedding. The repertoire includes musical reconstructions of Hebrew poetry from lamentations to celebratory songs, French-Jewish repertoire and the dances that would have accompanied these women throughout their daily lives.


Carla Nahadi Babelegoto, Svetlana Kundish – voice

Élodie Poirier – viella, voice

Avery Gosfield – recorder, pipe and tabor, double flute