A Feather on the Breath of God: Parallels in Medieval Mysticism and Sufism

Organised by: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Performed by: La Voix Médiévale & Kudsi Erguner
  • Date:
    3 Apr 2021
  • Time:
    5:00pm & 8:00pm
  • Duration:
  • Venue:
    Esplanade Concert Hall
    Esplanade Concert HallEsplanade Concert Hall
  • Admission:
  • Advisory:
    Seating capacity is capped at 250 persons, please book your e-tickets early. If you’ve registered for the performance and unable to join us, please forward the e-ticket to someone else to avoid wastage. Limited single seats are available at the door.


"Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God," wrote Hildegard von Bingen of her extraordinary achievements. A 12th century German abbess, saint, composer, healer and Christian mystic, she was gifted with visions throughout her life and her works describe a visceral connection to the divine. This concert features a musical dialogue between the songs of von Bingen and the playing of master ney musician Kudsi Erguner. Erguner's reed flute—the ney—and its music is associated with another lineage of mysticism and theology— that of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi order. In his writings, Rumi likened the cry of the ney to the human spirit's woeful separation from God. The instrument itself, a reed cut from the riverbed, advances this metaphor further.

In this performance, the music of Hildegard von Bingen will be performed by Singapore early music singers La Voix Médiévale. Kudsi Erguner will be participating from his abode in Paris—in pre-recorded segments that respond to the music of the mystic abbess composer.

A Feather on the Breath of God: Parallels in Medieval Mysticism and Sufism