St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen

Visual of St James Cathedral Seattle set to music by Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria the Lamentations of Job (Job 10: 1-7) performed The Sixteen.

I’m a filmmaker in Seattle, Washington and I shot this footage of the St James Cathedral during the Spring of 2010 around Easter. It was originally B-Roll for a documentary on the afterlife I didn’t use. I’m also working very hard to get my BFA in film production.

Over the Holidays a friend introduced me to Pandora Radio, which is where, for the first time, I heard the heavenly sounds of Harry Christohers & The Sixteen. I felt like my spirit was flying and it was this very song Taedet animam meam, that enraptured me. Their interpretation of this work I feel is so pure ad perfect.

It was authored in 1605 by Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria. It’s in Latin from the Officium Defunctorum and the translation is Job’s (Job 10: 1-7) Lament to God asking why he was being treated so unfairly:

I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why thou dost contend against me. Does it seem good to thee to oppress, to despise the work of thy hands and favor the designs of the wicked?

It was after I heard the Sixteen’s version of this amazing piece of Renaissance Choral music that I immediately started cutting this passion piece wanting to communicate this experience.

I did it as a thanks to The Sixteen for such wonderful sounds that helped to release some long held sorrows, but also as a thanks to the staff of the St. James Cathedral for letting me film inside it’s incredibly opulent and powerful walls.

This is a gift to those groups. I’m not making any money of the project and it has no monetary value.

Later I’ll post a video on how visual FX came in handy during the making of this project, which, I did alone with no crew or help from anyone.

About 60 hours of passion went into creating this project making sure everything was right. The Panasonic HVX200 P2 HD is the camera I used and it’s very limited in low light situations.

The 15 ft Easter candle was the greatest challenge. I loved this shot but it was so under lit you couldn’t see the amazing brass base So, I put the clip in a program called Maya (which was also used for the movie AVATAR) to create a second brass texture which I composted in Adobe After effects. It was an immense amount of work but very rewarding.

Listening to this music and seeing the imagery of St James Cathedral Seattle one can easily understand the impact it must have had four centuries ago.

The Sixteen have recently been touring the cathedrals in England, or what they call a choral pilgrimage, performing the music of Tomas Luis de Victoria.

Hail, Mother of the Redeemer

The Sixteen are a small early music choral group founded by Harry Christopher with associated orchestra.

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) composer, priest, scholar, mystic and organist.

Top story Music Daily (Friday 18 November 2011).

Tomas Luis De Victoria – Composer of the Week – BBC Radio 3
Discovering Music – 16th Century Polyphony

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