With Music for the Mysteries as through music ensemble, the Melangell work will be toured in a network of vocal ensembles, actors and producers. In each country, the performances will have a professional local actor in the role of storyteller and also feature a local choir.



Skálholt Summer Concerts featured
2 Melangell performances when celebrating
the festival's 40 years anniversary.


fotoIn the circle round "magical clearing " audience is seated in a work of art, and singers and musicians perform in it. In the coming staging, the storyteller will speak the language of the audience. The role of the storyteller will be translated to the language of the participating countries. Danish tranlation already exists from the first performances in 2011.
thumbAgnethe Christensen
contra alto and kantele - sings Melangell
Teit Kanstrup
bass baritone - sings Prince of Brochwell
Bente Vist, soprano
Jakob Skjoldborg, tenor
Kuno Kjærbye, violin
Ida Bach Jensen, contrabass
during Ida's maternity leave in 2014: Jeppe Mørch Sørensen
Hanne Tofte Jespersen, piano, alto, recital
Anders Hvidberg-Hansen, percussion
Icelandic storyteller:
María Ellingsen
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"VERY excitng! The music holds both medieval, renaissance, folk music and the modern - and at no point does it turn commonplace"

commented organist Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen after the concert performance of The Testimony of Melangell 4.9.11, which served as the closing concert of the international summer concerts 2011
in Frederiksborg Castle Church















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fotoMelangell, Celtic and early Christian mystic, lived in wild nature around 500 AD. Her name means
"honey angel".

She is associated with a shrine in a remote valley in the highlands of Northern Wales to where she came as a pilgrim and settled as a hermit. Later ages made her a saint. The place is called Pennant Melangell. Among the legends about her, this one is probably the most well-known:


One day the local prince happened to disturb her sanctuary. A terrified hare pursued by hounds and hunters shot beneath her skirts, and Brochwell - the prince in charge of them - were captured by her sacred radiation, granted her the valley and declared that from that day no hunting should ever take place there. again. And so it has been, at least for hares who are still called "The lambs of Melangell"


Melangell speaks across ages:

Who knows where I come from?
who am I or what I am?

I am the wild woman older than time....

LISTEN to 1. movement THE WILD WOMAN
DOWNLOAD the text .
photoHanne Tofte Jespersen has composed the music.
In 1989 author Mike Harris (UK, Wales) wrote an adaptation of Melangell's tale.
In 2007 he showed Hanne the manus. Her immediate reaction was: - This story I would like to set to music.
LISTEN to more movements....



photoVisual artist Alison Michell (UK/DK) created theinstallation
'The Magical Clearing'
in stones, moss, drops of glass, silk, 4 paintings - 1,80 x 1,30 m canvases - and lights.
The Magical Clearing could also be visited as an exhibition: Mike Harris' Melangell-manus was recorded and played back in the visual setting before and inbetween performances















The first performance took place in the former industrial area MUSICON which used to house concrete production. The composer and the visual artist let the contrast between the wild nature of Melangell's and the desertedness and natureless of Musicon's modern setting be their starting point.
The acoustics of Hall 9 proved cathedral-like and sublime for acoustic music.
click to view large image


CO-PRODUCERS of first performances 2011:
The Franz Schubert Society of DK,
the Museum of Contemporary Art,
Roskilde Music Association










































Earlier projects

"MUSICIANS IN THE MUSEUM" is Music for the Mysteries' concept for
projects in art museums and cultural heritage sites.
The projects take place within ordinary opening hours.


The 5 musicians perform in the exhibition halls
and give short introductions to the music and texts to visitors.

Music performed live in the halls deepens the experience of the visual art and artefacts and vice versa.


17.-18. JUNI 2010

with introduction to "Music for Melangell"
2 days before its first performance,
among Jógvan Sverrason Biskopstø's
sculptures and watercolours:




"Vision of Enoch" in the hall of Sámal Joensen-Mikines':





In August-September 2008 we did 4 projects in collaboration with
four Danish museums of art and history:

Museum of Contemporary Art/ Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde
The Art Museum of West Zealand/ Vestsjællands Kunstmuseum, Sorø
Kalundborg Museum - local museum in the medieval part of town
Odsherred's Art Museum / Malergården

foto foto foto
photos fra Malergården

The 5 musicians were present in the exhibition areas and performed extracts of our programme during opening hours. The composers introduced their works, and the group took visitors along on "wandering concerts" in interaction with the artworks and artefacts.


fotofoto photos from Museet for Samtidskunst
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The programmes were scheduled for 2 days in each museum,
incl. a 1 hour concert on the second day

fotofotofoto photos from Kalundborg Museum

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The project "Musicians in the Museum" is supported by Kulturregion Midt- ogVestsjælland/ Cultural Region Mid- and West Zealand, Kalundborg Kommune / District, Odsherreds Kommune/ District, Roskilde Kommune/ District, Sorø Kommune/ District, Dansk Musiker Forbund/ Danish Musicians Union, DJBFA, Nordea Danmark-fonden, Deloitte, Sorana A/S.  Stiftelsen Sorø Akademy and Sorø Congregation Council Menighedsråd have kindly made Sorø Klosterkirke (Monastic church of Sorø) available for the concert 13 Sept.


and included a 1 HOUR "Introduction to concert "
with author Mike Harris (Wales) and the orchestra:


In the composition "The Seven Natures" Hanne Tofte Jespersen has set a portion of a Celtic ritual manuscript in music together with an extract of the Creation myth according to Enoch. The Celtic script is by the author Mike Harris (Wales) who was special guest at the programme in the Museum of Copenhagen. During the introduction Mike Harris told about Enoch and the connections between Judaic and Celtic mythologies - interchanging with the musicians playing extracts of "The Seven Natures".


A question from the audience made Mike Harris retell the myth of how Gwion becomes the bard Taliesin through dipping his fingers into the cauldron of Ceridwen, the Goddess, literally licking the drops of Awen (Celtic for "divine inspiration").

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Music for the Mysteries performs Anders Hvidberg's instrumental suite The Swords


The concert was supported by The Music Council of Copenhagen and The Soloists' Association of 1921.
fotos: Lucia Carriere

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