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REFUGE: music of resilience + hope

by Cor Flammae

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Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Amen. Where charity and love are found, God is present there. We are gathered as one by Christ’s love; let us exult and be joyful in Him. Let us fear and let us love the living God, and let us love each other with a sincere heart. Where charity and love are found, God is present there. Amen.
Meredith Monk’s short film "Book Of Days", from which “Churchyard Entertainment” is an excerpt, explores a pantomime medieval world rife with the problems of xenophobia and scapegoating that plagued the middle ages: “Book of Days” opens, in colour, with 20th-century workmen blasting a brick wall, leaving a hole that opens into a black-and-white small town in the Middle Ages. Men, women and children glide about their daily tasks, stopping to answer sometimes tellingly anachronistic questions from 20th-century interviewers... The medieval Christians are dressed in white; the Jews are in black robes, each marked with a yellow circle. Both are stricken by the plague, for which the Jews are blamed. A Jewish girl has visionary dreams that prompt her to draw crude objects identifiable as a car, an airplane, a gun. At the end of ‘’Book of Days’’ the workmen enter the town and come across the drawings traced into a wall.
Quanti mercenarii in domo Patris mei abundant panibus, ego autem hic fame pereo, Surgam, et ibo ad Patrem meum et dicam ei: fac me sicut unum ex mercenariis tuis. How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will arise and go to my father and say to him: ‘Make me like one of your hired men.’
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region, Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow? No map, there, nor guide, Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand, Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land. I know it not, O Soul; Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us; All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land. Till, when the ties loosen, All but the ties eternal, Time and Space, Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us. Then we burst forth—we float, In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them; Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfill, O Soul.
Ave, Regina Caelorum, Ave, Domina Angelorum: Salve, radix, salve, porta Ex qua mundo lux est orta: Gaude, Virgo gloriosa, Super omnes speciosa; Vale, o valde decora, Et pro nobis Christum exora. Hail, O Queen of Heaven enthroned. Hail, by angels mistress owned. Root of Jesse, Gate of Morn Whence the world’s true light was born: Glorious Virgin, Joy to thee, Loveliest whom in heaven they see; Fairest thou, where all are fair, Plead with Christ our souls to spare.
Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis, (Mon ami z’il est à la guerre) Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis Ont passé par ici. Le premier était plus bleu que ciel, (Mon ami z’il est à la guerre) Le second était couleur de neige, Le troisième rouge vermeil. “Beaux oiselets du Paradis, (Mon ami z’il est à la guerre) Beaux oiselets du Paradis, Qu’apportez par ici?” Three lovely birds from Paradise (My belov’d is to the fighting gone) Three lovely birds from Paradise Have flown along this way. The first was bluer than Heaven’s blue (My belov’d is to the fighting gone) The second white as the fallen snow The third was wrapt in bright red glow. “Ye lovely birds from Paradise (My belov’d is to the fighting gone) Ye lovely birds from Paradise What bring ye then this way?”
Ночевала тучка золотая На груди утеса-великана; Утром в путь она умчалась рано, По лазури весело играя; Но остался влажный след в морщине Старого утеса. Одиноко Он стоит, задумался глубоко, И тихонько плачет он в пустыне. A little golden cloud slumbered all night upon the breast of a giant crag; in the early morning it went wandering again, through the vault of the azure sky. But a trace of dew remained in a wrinkle of the old crag. Lonely he stands, pondering deeply, and silently weeps, forsaken in the wilderness.
i think you’re lying to me, you just want to stay here you’re not expecting to be treated that way they’re always feeling as if you’re going to do the worst thing possible or be a criminal what happens now? they could just as easily take it away I would just have to leave maybe he’d like it back in Mexico it’s warmer there i think you’re lying to me, you just want to stay here that moment when you realize that it’s a giant bummer because you realize there’s nothing you can do when i first got here i was super excited this is how things are supposed to go that was a huge bummer because that’s what i came here for it took me a year—over a year— to find a job i was lucky enough to be hired what happens now? they could just as easily take it away I would just have to leave maybe he’d like it back in Mexico it’s warmer there i want to see if i can try it on my own i wasn’t able to i didn’t want to be helped out i wanted to prove to myself i could do something i think you’re lying to me, you just want to stay here i would love it if you stayed here and we built something that’s what i wanted: something to look forward to what happens to what we built now? they could just as easily take it away I would just have to leave maybe he’d like it back in Mexico it’s warmer there
Across the darkened city the frosty searchlights creep, Alert for the first marauder, to steal upon our sleep. We see the sudden headlines float on the muttering tide. We hear them warn and threaten and wonder what they hide. There are whispers across tables, talks in a shutter’d room. The price on which they bargain will be a people’s doom. There’s a roar of war in the factories and idle hands on the street And Europe held in nightmare by the thud of marching feet. Now sinks the sun of surety, the shadows growing tall Of the big bosses plotting their biggest coup of all. Is there no strength to save us? No power we can trust. Before our lives and liberties are powder’d into dust. Time to arise Democracy, time to rise up and cry, That what our fathers fought for we’ll not allow to die. Time to resolve divisions, time to renew our pride, Time to decide, time to burst our house of glass. Rise as a single being in one resolve arrayed: Life shall be for the people that’s by the people made.
What, my friend, will I remember, when I’m old then older yet? What, my friend, will I remember? What, my friend, will I forget? A rained out birthday picnic, my rst straight-A report card, the fate of Harry Potter? Will I remember being young? Remember how I look? Remember how we look right now? What, my friend, will you remember? Oh my friend, oh my dear. What, my friend, will you remember? When you’re old and full of years. Will you remember here and now? Recall how once we’d sung this song? This song about forgetfulness, when we were still so young? Will you remember standing tall? Will you remember me, my friend? Will I remember you? The time that lies ahead of us is greater than the time that’s gone. Let’s meet again and sing this song when the opposite is true. Whatever else we may forget, remember now: Sing with no regrets.
From this hour, Freedom From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines, Going where I list, listening to others, and considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
It takes a whole village to raise our children It takes a whole village to raise one child We all everyone must share the burden We all everyone will share the joy
Kyrie eleison Christe eleison Lord, have mercy Christ, have mercy
Sing God a simple song: Lauda, Laudē Make it up as you go along: Lauda, Laudē Sing like you like to sing. God loves all simple things, For God is the simplest of all, For God is the simplest of all. I will sing the Lord a new song To praise Him, to bless Him, to bless the Lord. I will sing His praises while I live All of my days. Blessed is the man who loves the Lord, Blessed is the man who praises Him. Lauda, Lauda, Laudē And walks in His ways. I will lift up my eyes To the hills from whence comes my help. I will lift up my voice to the Lord Singing Lauda, Laudē. For the Lord is my shade, Is the shade upon my right hand, And the sun shall not smite me by day Nor the moon by night. Blessed is the man who loves the Lord, Lauda, Lauda, Laudē, And walks in His ways. Lauda, Lauda, Laudē, Lauda, Lauda di da di day. All of my days.
Gloria tibi, gloria. Gloria patre, gloria filio, et spiritu e sancto. Laudamus te. Adoramus te. Glori camus te. Benedicimus te! Gloria patre! Gloria filio. Et spiritu e sancto. Glory to thee, glory. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. We praise Thee. We worship Thee. We glorify Thee. We bless Thee! Glory be to the Father! And to the Son. And to the Holy Ghost.
Gloria in Excelsis Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, Adoramus te, Benedicimus te, Glori camus te, Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam: Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, misererere nobis. Quoniam tu solus Sanctus; Tu solus Dominus; Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, Cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen. Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For Thou alone art holy; Thou alone art Lord; Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the Glory of God the Father. Amen. Half of the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election. Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction. They call it glorious living. And, baby, where does that leave you, You and your kind? (...miserere nobis, suscipe deprecationem nostram.) You and your youth and your mind? Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere. Half of the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election.
Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Almighty Father, incline thine ear: Bless us and all those who have gathered here. Thine angel send us who shall defend us all And fill with grace all who dwell in this place. Amen.


Conducted by Mark Reid
Recorded live July 15/16


released September 7, 2016

Cover art photo by Belle Ancell Photography
Design APB


all rights reserved



Cor Flammae Vancouver, British Columbia

Cor Flammae is Vancouver's summer chorus of classically trained, queer singers, performing queer content. Composed from the ranks of the city's top-flight choral ensembles and singers, the choir seeks to reveal the hidden queer heritage often ignored in the conservative world of classical music. ... more

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