The City of Absurdity Jocelyn Montgomery with
David Lynch
Lux Vivens: The Music of Hildegard von Bingen

David Lynch goes sacred

The Pitt News

with many thanks to Kian for providing the article

PITTSBURGH, Penn. – David Lynch dug around in the past and found something to bring back with him.

It's never certain what a man who uses animal carcasses and ants in his hanging art will unearth or create. For example, he has directed truly mesmerizing films from Eraserhead to Blue Velvet. This time he has scraped up some old songs, dusted them off and recruited a talented songstress to add the perfect polish. The new album Lux Vixens is the result.

David Lynch came up with a beautiful new album that explores a few familiar themes – religion, vindication and the contemporizing the past. His artful production presents a smooth, unified recording.

Despite the album's ingenuity, it surely won't be played on B-94 until they start playing 12th Century German sacred music alongside Matchbox 20 and Hanson. In fact, this album not only marks Lynch's return to music; it is also the debut of Jocelyn Montgomery, the album's vocalist.

Lux Vixens came about through Lynch's fascination with the music of an outspoken, 12th century nun. Hildegard Von Bingen was one of the most radical feminists of her time. She was also thought to be a child prophet whose visions culminated in the text "Scivias – Know the Ways." She was even challenged by Pope Eugene III to further prophesy, and eventually was confirmed as a visionary by the pope.

Lynch needed a singer who could make Von Bingen's music her own. Although she had no interest in a recording deal, Jocelyn Montgomery's vocal style attracted Lynch and Lux Vixens is their debut.

Lynch opens the album with "Flame and Vision," which evokes images of a fiery sky and landscapes ravaged by storms. It works to jolt the listener into a curiously introspective mind-set. Each song consumes and haunts you with its surrealism. It's a beautiful revival of an artistic expression that's nine centuries old. This is art in its beauty and texture – layered and complex.

Montgomery's voice echoes as though she were singing in a large abandoned cathedral in outstanding pieces like "Lux Vixens," the title track, and "Sapientie." Montgomery's soprano touches the soul with Von Bingen' s words, deeper each time you press play.

Lux Vixens is incredibly unique. There are no hooks, no gloss and no sheen to the music. It is designed to be as faithful to Von Bingen' s Latin originals. But it's still a very interesting period piece that someone like David Lynch can filter through his vision. Listen with an open mind and leave your prejudices about sacred music at the door.

back back to top

Jocelyn Montgomery main page | David Lynch page
© Mike Hartmann