"Gustate et Videte" was composed in response to a call for works from the Old Hispanic Office project at Bristol University. The EU-funded Old Hispanic Office project is focusing on musical, liturgical, theological, notational and historical aspects of the rite celebrated in medieval Iberia until it was suppressed in favour of the Roman liturgy with its Gregorian chant repertoire.
As well as presenting their work through conventional means (including conference papers, journal articles and a monograph), they are sharing their findings with composers within and beyond the project team. These composers are then responding to the historical findings in compositional form, capturing something of the aesthetic and purpose of the medieval material, in modern music for modern contexts.
"Gustate et Videte" is a response to the spiritual notion of becoming one with the angels through the repeated singing of an "Alleluia", in this case taking the form of the Alleluiaticum within the Vespers liturgy.
Following an excellent weekend in Bristol and Oxford with twenty composers from all over Europe I am delighted to have been commissioned to write a larger choral work exploring elements of Vespers for Bristol Cathedral Choir and Oxford Christchurch Choir, due for performance in spring/summer 2017 and hopefully subsequent use in the Anglican liturgy. Thanks to Emma Hornby and her team at OHO.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n° 313133.