From and around Sweden’s oldest songbook.
The Skara Missal, written in the middle of the twelfth century, has sometimes been described as Sweden’s oldest book and is a unique document from the Swedish middle ages. It contains all the songs employed in the mass in Skara diocese and was used throughout the 13th century – an eventful hundred years for the diocese with much contact and influence from the rest of Europe. Using this document as a starting point Gemma weave together a programme, with the Missal’s melodies at its core, based upon the musical influences of the numerous travels of the bishops’ of Skara. Although the diocese of Skara can be considered as being on the periphery of northern Europe, many of its bishops studied in Paris, took part in pilgrimages to Jerusalem (amongst other destinations) and gathered inspiration for their services from England. The bishop whose memory lives on most strongly is Brynolf Algotsson, who promoted the cult of the crown of thorns. Besides music from the Missal Gemma also performs music from the Notre Dame school’s advanced polyphony as well as crusade songs for Jerusalem travellers.