Concert Review: Music In The Stillness 1/ Josie And The Emeralds

Josie Ryan
Josie Ryan

 Music in the stillness Concert 1/ Josie and The Emeralds

The Art Gallery of New South Wales Foyer

Wednesday April 11, 7:30 pm

Written by Ria Andriani

Music in the Stillness is a concert series presented by Josie and the Emeralds. It combines music from the medieval period and new Australian compositions inspired by The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries presently on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The programme of the first concert closely matched the visual aspects and rich imagery of these beautiful works of arts. Commissioned in the 1500’s by the le Viste family, the Lady and the Unicorn has been regarded as one of the finest works of the European Medieval period. Each tapestry shows the lady, sometimes with a handmaiden, flanked by a unicorn, a lion and myriad other animals.

The Medieval repertoire of the concert took us back in time, drawing on themes such as the fickleness of courtly love, the importance of virtue and the reverence of women. The ensemble performed music, dances and consort arrangements by composers such as Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois, Guillaume Dufay and Bartolomeo Tromboncino. Much of this music, as in medieval life, combined the sacred and the secular; concepts that in modern time are quite distinct.

The imagery of The Lady and the Unicorn continues to captivate our imagination, inspiring a number of modern compositions, from Moya Henderson’s little tribute “The hem of her dress”, to Brooke Green’s palindrome “The mirror to the unicorn” symbolizing conceit, Victoria Pham’s enchanting piece “À Aurore” (scored for viol, bass viol, portative organ and soprano); and finally, Alice Chance’s powerful composition “Ça va bien”, dedicated to the self-sufficiency of women.

Ria Andriani for SoundsLikeSydney©

Ria Andriani graduated with Bachelor of Music/ Bachelor of Arts from UNSW in 2015. She now sings as a soprano with various choirs in Sydney, and presents recitals in collaboration with other musicians. Follow Ria on

Music in the Stillness will continue each Wednesday at 7.30 pm till 9 May, 2018, preceded by a speaker at 6.30 pm. Soprano Amy Moore will join Josie and the Emeralds to continue this concert series

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