Last year, in the midst of the Christmas concert season when I was mind-numbingly busy preparing for the PSC's Wintersong concert as well as the BCC's Christmas Oratorio concert, I decided I really wanted to hear some choral music that wasn't coming out of my own mouth. I'd heard a lot of buzz about In Mulieribus, thanks in part to the strong reception of their first CD, Notre Dame de Grace (which I still haven't bought yet, but I plan to remedy that on Sunday) so I decided to go hear their concert. I'm a huge fan of ancient music, but I'd never heard this kind of music performed live with such flawless, haunting intensity in my entire life. It's incredible to hear music that's a thousand years old presented with such consummate skill and passion that it sounds as fresh and exciting as it must have when it was new. I attend dozens and dozens of concerts every year, and the In Mulieribus concert certainly ranks as one of the top one or two that I heard last year.
I think, being a performer as well as a reviewer, that I tend to gush too much at times when reviewing. Part of that stems from the fact that since I do perform, I can attend a concert that is horrible (fortunately those are very few and far between) and I still appreciate the hard work that goes into it. It's something I need to work on; separating my innate sympathy with the performers from a (hopefully) objective analysis of the performance. But another part of it is that music still infects me like Pixie dust, it's something that can tear me out from my oft incredibly jaded weltanschaauung and fill me with a joie de vivre (how's that for dropping two foreign phrases in one sentence?) in a way that almost nothing else can. At least, music unlocks that sense of wonder in me far more readily than anything else I can think of.
The point of all this rambling being, although I tend to love most of the music I go to hear, In Mulieribus presents amazing music at a skill level that is a true rarity. Anyone who loves or is remotely curious about ancient music should make an effort to hear them. Not to mention that a portion of the proceeds from each concert goes to charity.
I got to interview artistic director Anna Song, and she shed quite a bit of light on their upcoming concert at Northwest Reverb. 'Nuf said; read what Anna has to say, and I hope to see you at the concert Sunday. Get there early if you don't already have tickets; this one may sell out.