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Lux Vivens - The Music of Hildegard von Bingen

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Album Review

The teaming of former Miranda Sex Garden vocalist/fiddler Jocelyn Montgomery with the bleak auteur-of-darkness David Lynch might seem inaccessible in theory. But the duo's startlingly lovely modern take on 12th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen's music on Lux Vivens is remarkably alive and endlessly compelling. Lynch's industrial drone and bizarre sound samples, from gentle waves to crashing thunder, aren't that far removed from his Eraserhead score. His brooding tones suggest funeral marches, chirping birds in flight, battles between Heaven and Hell, landscapes devoid of light, and percolating medieval stews. One can't emphasize enough just how beautifully Montgomery's tender, yearning voice works with Lynch's stoic sonic base. She comes across like a sweeter and more religious Sinéad O'Connor, without the latter's pop sense. Montgomery almost seems the perfect mixture of O'Connor and the Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser; equal parts inner strength and angelic levity. Indeed, it would be hard to overstate the otherworldly beauty of Montgomery's stunning, nearly transcendental vocal work here. It seems both Montgomery and Lynch found equal muses in each other, if only because their highly contrasting musical styles clash and weave together so magically over the course of the album. Completely accessible, and brimming with emotion and style, Lux Vivens is an absolute aural treat that both sounds wonderful as background music, and rewards intensely close listening. The title says it all, really: the duo's music is a kind of living light. Gorgeous.

Customer Reviews

An amazing and introspective beauty.

This album is incredible. Jocelyn Montgomery's voice is simply etheral and divine. Relaxing, contemplative, and a deeply meditative piece of music.


I wish I had something to compare this too but there is nothing that comes close. Jocelyn's voice is a s clear as it is beautiful. I hope they do this again. Hodie is my favorite. I've owned this album for 3 years now and it still wows me.

O Tu Illustrata

I've owned this album for years-- the CD actually has video spots with her (maybe iTunes can get those out there?), and O Tu Illustrata is my absolute favorite on this work. Great for meditation!


Genre: Drama

In addition to his prodigious careers as a director, writer, producer, sound designer, and carpenter (to name a few), David Lynch also stretched his artistic reach to music. He collaborated heavily with his go-to composer Angelo Badalamenti on the scores and soundtracks to his projects, including the music for Blue Velvet, 1990's iconic Twin Peaks soundtrack, and Mulholland Drive. He also collaborated, with and without Badalamenti, on pop albums such as Julee Cruise's Floating into the Night (which...
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