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Adiemus

Adiemus (pron.: /ædiˈeɪməs/) is a series of vocalise-style albums by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. It is also the title of the opening track on the first album in the series, Songs of Sanctuary. "Adiemus" was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with additional performers and a project choral group conducted by Jenkins. The lead vocalist is Miriam Stockley from South Africa. The music is generally categorised as New Age. Concept: Each Adiemus album is a collection of song-length pieces featuring harmonised vocal melody against an orchestra background. There are no lyrics as such, instead the vocalists sing syllables and 'words' invented by Jenkins. However, rather than creating musical interest from patterns of phonemes (as in scat singing, or in numerous classical and crossover compositions), the language of Adiemus is carefully stylised so as not to distract the listener's attention from the pitch and timbre of the voice. Syllables rarely end in consonants, for example. In this respect it is similar to Japanese and several other languages. The core concept of Adiemus is that the voice should be allowed to function as nothing more than an instrument, an approach that has become something of a trend in recent choral writing (compare, for example Vangelis's score for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), or "Dogora", a symphonic suite by French composer Étienne Perruchon). The word Adiemus itself resembles the Latin word 'adeamus' meaning 'let us approach' (or "let us submit a cause to a referee"). Jenkins has said he was unaware of this. Perhaps even more appropriately, the song title also resembles two forms of the Latin verb 'audire' (to hear), i.e. 'audiemus' (we shall hear) and 'audiamus' (let us hear). Instrumentation and performers: Scoring for Songs of Sanctuary recorder, 8 percussion, 4 tom-toms, congas, cymbals, claves, floor tom, bass drum, mark tree, bass bell in C, cabassa, wood block, triangle, strings Scoring for Cantata Mundi 2 flutes (1 doubling on piccolo), 2 oboes (1 doubling on English horn), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 6 horns, 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, claves, cowbell, güiro, 2 cabacas, triangle, chenchen, Egyptian tabla, doholla, tom-tom, cymbals, chekere, xylophone, glockenspiel, bass marimba, bongos, rek, udu pot, tablas, sticks, pandeiro, timbales, surdo, bass drum, tamtam, suspended cymbals, tambourine, recorder, strings (featuring on album are also the violin, electro-acoustic percussion and gemshorn) Scoring for Dances of Time 7 singers, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 6 horns, 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, 8 percussionists: bass drum, bongos, cowbell, chekere, chocolla, cymbals, claves, congas, cabaca, castanets, dholak, güiro, 5 low drums, low chekere, marimba, rainmaker, rek, snare drum, shaker, surdo, tom-tom, tabla, tamborim, tambourine, triangle, udo, wood block, xylophone, recorder, strings (featuring on album are also the electro-acoustic percussion and gemshorn) Scoring for The Eternal Knot recorder, accordion, percussion, harp, strings (on album also the acoustic guitar, Uilleann pipes) Scoring for Vocalise for voices and orchestra Session singer Miriam Stockley performed the vocal parts on the first four albums. Stockley was described by Jenkins as central to the Adiemus project due to her range and intonation, however she was not re-engaged for Vocalise. Additional vocals were provided by Mary Carewe on all but Dances of Time, which saw the introduction of the Finnish Adiemus Singers (who would later appear on Vocalise). Extra vocals and the chorus effects were created by overdubbing multitracked recordings of the singers (in some cases up to 40 times) and varying the speed of the tape. The Songs of Sanctuary orchestra consisted of a string section augmented by various ethnic percussion instruments, with occasional further additions such as bells, a recorder and a quena. Mike Ratledge, with whom Jenkins had played in Soft Machine, contributed to the first album as well. Jenkins added brass and woodwind for Cantata Mundi, and continued to add more diverse instruments such as acoustic guitar on later albums. From Songs of Sanctuary to Dances of Time, the London Philharmonic Orchestra was used; Jenkins later formed his own Adiemus Orchestra to perform on The Eternal Knot recordings, returning to the London Philharmonic for Vocalise. Singers: Miriam Stockley, Pirjo Aittomäki, Mervi Hiltunen, Anna-Mari Kähärä, Merja Rajala, Säde Rissanen, Hanna-Riikka Siitonen, Mia Simanainen, Nina Tapio, Riikka Timonen

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