Andreas Arend, Emmanuelle Bernard, Heidi Gröger and Núria Sanromà Gabàs 1st-perform Hanne Tofte Jespersen's commissioned piece FINDING CONSORT for a broken consort of theorbo, baroque violin, viola da gamba and zink (cornetto) during Festival Lübecker Lauten Lust 2019.
Hanne wrote this piece inspired by studies of certain aspects of Western Mystery Traditions as they appear in Welsh Celtic mythology. In their tales, a magical device called Gwyddbwyll ['ɡwɨð̞ bʊɨɬ̯ ] refers to a kind of chess board. The board has two faces - a red and white upper side supposedly played by a human player and thus referring to the
'outer world' of mankind; the other, white and red facing downwards refers to the 'inner' world, the world of fairy, meaning the player of the hidden side is an otherworldly being.
The purpose of the game is to bring the powers of the two worlds in alignment.
Consort in this magical context indicates a partner invisible to humans, and the relation between the two is one of polarity between male and female.
In FINDING CONSORTS Hanne worked with transferring this idea to a piece of music for
broken consort. She imagined the music to take place on a Gwyddbwyll chess board and
developed it from a short cantus firmus-like motif indicating the first 'move' on the board.
The motif emerged when she firstly contemplated the work, and in the music it introduces itself in the first six notes of the viola da gamba. The rest of the music was either derived from this motif or it emerges as responses or calls to it, in one or two instruments at a time.
FINDING CONSORTS was commissioned by the festival, with composer's fee from the Statens Kunstfond/Danish Arts Foundation, Danish Composers Society/KODA Culture and German funds.