Voices of the Pearl traces, in newly commissioned song cycles, the tenuous lineage of women who dared to encounter the unmediated divine; their efforts span time, religion, nation and culture.
The project commissions, performs and records musical works from composers across the globe, setting text by and about female esoterics from world traditions throughout history, reclaiming these lost voices and the tradition of female spirituality.
By juxtaposing and performing 4 to 5 cycles by living composers, we will create a full-length evening of portraits of female esoterics, traversing time and geography.
The performance of several different cycles over the course of an evening will focus audience attention on the musical portraits of women negotiating the intersection of heaven and earth, in a variety of world traditions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Daoist, Buddhist.
The female esoteric practitioner is twice marginalized in the world’s traditions: 1) the mystics’ direct contact with the divine threatens the hierarchical structures of organized religion and so they are, because of this, sometimes labeled heretical 2) women are often considered by religious traditions incapable, due to their female bodies, to attain an authentic direct mystical contact with the divine.
Voices of the Pearl traces the tenuous lineage of women who dared to encounter the unmediated divine; their efforts span time, religion, nation and culture.