Incantare Mundana

Selected

Benjamin Skepper

ARTIST STATEMENT

Humans are deeply fascinated by the cosmos, contemplating the birth of mother earth, surmising about the afterlife, devising methods to harness divine power and imagining what exists in “outer-space”. The human voice is the primordial tool to connect with the divine. Ascetics, shamans, priests and witches invoke spiritual chants and prayers to positively access and harness cosmological energy. Artists also believe they are conduits channeling this energy to manifest creation on the earthly plane. These represent terrestrial interpretations of consciousness and the soul, spiritual, religious or personal, as humans confront mortality, ponder the metaphysical and the interconnectedness of all things.

Based on the notion that the essence of the universe is composed of sound as vibration, I present our interstellar friends with “Incantare Mundana”: a mix-up of human voice, nature sounds, music and noise, in contradistinction to formal western music for which I have received theoretical training. The title of the work pays homage to discourse concerning the music of the spheres (musica mundana), conceiving of a cosmos ordered according to Pythagorean and Neoplatonic ideas.

Turning our consideration to the effect of music (and sound) on the soul and as a reflection of cosmic harmony, Pythagoras’ sublime speculations about sidereal harmonics and world harmony envisage the planetary bodies traversing the sky in a colossal cosmic chant. The music of the spheres imagines a universe where the revolution of each planet produces a distinctive tone, and this tonal harmony of the spheres creates a well-defined musical scale. Cosmic and musical structures are considered to express the same mathematical ratios proportioned by unequal but specific intervals. Predating the birth of Christ, this philosophy permeated thought throughout the Middle Ages, and research continues into different musical tunings and temperaments.

“Incantare” is the Latin word “to enchant”, and the derivation for the English word incantation. It references the human voice, subject matter of the field recordings, central to the composition of this sound piece.

Incantare Mundana is a poetic collection of chants, prayers and incantations personally recorded as I traversed the earth in search of the sacred. Japanese Buddhist Monks in Kyoto and Shinto Shrine Bells (bells awaken the spirits), Hindi sermons in Roman Churches, Russian prayers at Kazanski Cathedral in St Petersburg, Italian hymns intoned at The Vatican, the sweet voices of French Nuns in Paris, throat singing from the harmonic Gyuto Monks of Tibet and sacred musical sounds of the dancing Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul, Turkey.

In a time where fear dominates and humans confront planetary survival in this great cosmic disco, may this sonic offering impart a message of peace from mother earth and propel us towards a positive future paradigm!

CREDITS

Composed and Produced by Benjamin Skepper Recorded by Benjamin Skepper Engineered by Benjamin Skepper and Yasuho Matsubara Mastered by Yasuho Matsubara

℗ & © 2014 contrapuntal & Benjamin Skepper All rights reserved.

Benjamin Skepper has garnered globally respect as a multi-talented creator and visionary: musician, composer, fashion model, Cultural Ambassador and Multi-Media artist.

A child prodigy, touring as a classical pianist, harpsichordist and cellist internationally by 10, Benjamin has independently forged his own creative path focusing on contemporary sound and composition, interdisciplinary collaborations and site-specific and multimedia installation. He has recorded for labels including Colombia Music and Ninja Tunes, written music for film and TV, received commissions from Electrolux, Dom Pérignon, Yohji Yamamoto and The Victorian Arts Centre, lived as an artist-in-residence at The French Embassy Tokyo, played in Palaces and Museums across Europe, and exhibited sound installations alongside avant-garde artists such as Yoko Ono.

Committed to harnessing the power of art and culture to effect social change, Benjamin is co-developing the first ever artist-in-residency program for Australian artists with the Australian Ambassador in Moscow, and continues his research collaborations into the intersections between science, technology, art and synaesthesia.

“Embodying classical aesthetic, music and culture, Benjamin Skepper is a musician with an extraordinary sense of the contemporary” (Rolling Stone Italy 2011)

“Worldly, experimental and blurring the lines between visual art, music and other art forms, Benjamin Skepper’s performance at MOFO embodied the festival and the MONA brand” (ArtsHub 2013)

Video vimeo.com/benjaminskepper BandCamp benjaminskepper.bandcamp.com

Shortlist history

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Comments

QUENTIN VERON

27 May at 07:31AM

Launch

THIS PROJECT SHOULD DEFINETELY MAKE IT TO THE SPACE! IT ALREADY TOOK ME TO THE STARS. THE SPIRITUAL ASPECT IS REALLY INTERESTING AND REALLY MAKES US WANT TO BE PART OF THE PROJECT AS A LISTENNER.
FANTASTIC IDEA, LOVE THE POETIC ASPECT, IT MAKES ME WANT TO HAVE MY MIND TRAVELLING WITH IT.

Belinda Bailey

27 May at 10:20AM

Launch

This is such a fabulous piece that captures the essence of our human longing to be reconnected to something greater than our selves, at the same time as giving the listener a glimpse into the feeling of that coveted connection. It conveys both the search for meaning and the meaning itself for human civilisation..

Jessica Brown

27 May at 12:21PM

Launch

Fantastic.
I love this idea of spirituality and peace.
Such a genius idea.
The chanting and the way its been put together gave me goosebumps. I LOVE IT!!

Daniela Ferrero

27 May at 02:36PM

The world will come .. will be perfect .. so perfect that the mankind will be not able to describe because they will be not able to speack. The new voice of mankind will be the music and math formulas.

Sasha Abramovich

27 May at 03:13PM

Launch

Good luck!

Kate Anne Walsh

27 May at 03:24PM

Launch

Brilliant.
Global peace.
The sounds of something so deep and so beautiful.
This is the sort of thing we need to focus on. Reaching deeper with music. Best of Luck. This deserves to launch. I also want to travel in to space with this chanting... Nice work.

Gabriela

27 May at 05:48PM

Je suis tombé sous le charme be Benjamin !! DE tout , son style , sa musique, sa beauté.. il est fou et surprenant ! LOVE !!

David Brown

27 May at 08:24PM

What better an Ambassador to the Cosmos than a composition of mankind's spirituality set to music.
Well done Benjamin.

Ugnė

27 May at 08:42PM

Launch

why there be comments on what can't be described in words...
listen to it, feel it, live it...

Penelope Trotter

27 May at 08:46PM

Launch

I just got space jouissance listening to that ..

Zita Mészáros

28 May at 07:01AM

Launch

It definitely sounds like the language i imagined.

AKIRA KAWAHATA

28 May at 09:53AM

Launch

Simply stunning piece! I love most of all the different sounds harmonizing and creating sound layers, a feeling like hovering among familiar but unknown places, and viewing the earth next to light and wind while gathering sounds. This music recalls and echoes our spirits, surrounds us by gentle waves, and will unite the earth beyond our belief and religions. I believe all elements surrounding us have their own undulation, harmonizing with each other, and reaching towards infinity. This artwork communicates the possibility of life-form beyond earth.

Paula Wild Stevens

28 May at 04:01PM

Launch

Fortunately for me I have been to many of Benjamin's Performances. Each one different and each one at a different and diverse venue. Benjamin has explained in detail how he has created all of the sounds we hear in the small amount of sound posted here. From my perspective of being in his audiences I can try and explain how his interpretation of life, nature and sound have affected me and the people surrounding me. We were all transfixed by the magic of what Benjamin has created from such natural sounds that we hear everyday in the outside world. Even though at the performances I was at were indoors, I felt like I was in a field filled with the wonderous sounds of nature. Ben weaves a magical spell around all who share in these performances. My only regret is not being able to see Ben perform in Japan outside at the Shrines, but thank goodness we can all view this and many more extraordinary performances of Benjamin via You Tube. I would like to mention to those who have not seen Benjamin in real life that he is one of the most beautiful looking men on earth inside and out and I'm very privileged to be close to him and his beautiful family.

paul jon doherty

28 May at 05:38PM

i am a pretty straight up guy with a "punk' background ,, and not so big on the cosmic "hippie' trip ,, but i am beyond giving labels these days ,, i just like and respect what i like ,, music of course is a big influence on most peoples lives and for whatever the reason when i listen to your tracks i feel something and it is a mostly a positive thought provoking experience ,, not sure why yet ,, but keep up the good work dude,,,your music grabs me in a very unexpected way ,, maybe because it is pure , without a pre conceived objective

Jezervoir

28 May at 08:48PM

Launch

Spirituality, and creating music and sound to connect. Using the imagination and believing there is something more divine out there. Incantare Mundana!!! Magic. There is definite purity in this message "Incantare Mundana - humans - cosmos - mother earth - afterlife - divine power - outer-space -
and we come to you out there whoever you are with a belief that peace and love and harmony can be found.
LAUNCH with pride and PEACE and spirituality that has been ritual for thousands of years.

Nathalie

28 May at 10:34PM

Intense spiritual trip of a magica and carnal passion!

Nathalie Rapti Gomez

28 May at 10:35PM

Launch

Intense spiritual trip of a magical and carnal passion!

Daniela Ferrero

29 May at 04:27AM

Launch

The world will come .. will be pefect. So perfect that the mankind will not be able to describe , because they will not be able to speack . The new voice of mankind wll be the music and math formulas.

Seraphim

30 May at 07:48AM

Launch

This artwork should definitely make it to space... These voices carry the spiritual beauty, the etherial quality of human beings' continued attempt to reach the Divine through the chaos that is the Human Condition. Amazing piece.

Dmetri Kakmi

30 May at 10:00AM

With its mix of traditional and modern; spiritual and secular, this work is a further evolution in Benjamin Skepper's remarkable career. The piece is worthy of the stars. It's carries humanity's hopes and desires in its resonant tones.

Matej Mestrovic

30 May at 07:46PM

Launch

Fantastic combination of the human voice, sounds of nature and the universe! I think you have achieved a perfect harmony! Congratulations, and I believe that this project will succeed!

Rosemary Narhi

30 May at 11:18PM

Launch

Music is our aesthetically pleasing control of vibrations. As humans we gather to savour something we feel with our soul transmitted through our ears. thank you Benjamin for sharing your heart and soul with us, it's only right we share you with others. In other time and dimensions.

Tomo Itoh

02 June at 02:39AM

Launch

His music always makes a white empty space in my mind. I do not need to hear with using my brain. I need to feel with using my sense. Incantare Mundana reminds me the millions of stars into the sky which I can not see usually. It is the art which create the gap in our daily life.

Alessandra Mirabile

02 June at 09:52PM

Launch

After 200.000 years of life, there is someone and some kind of art that is able to show us how the chances to create something new, unique, overwhelming, are never ending as well as the space out of this Earth.

Ilaria

02 June at 10:24PM

Launch

I really would love to support Benjamin and his project, cause I really know that everything for him comes through passion. A pure equilibrium between past and future, nature and urban landscapes, peace and caos.

Sonya Mulholland

02 June at 11:40PM

Launch

Benjamin Skepper is sublime! All elements come together here in a celebration of song, sound and spirit. A rich landscape that fulfills the soul and leaves it wanting for naught. Launch your masterpiece Maestro. Take it to another galaxy!

Korlan Madi

03 June at 12:21AM

Science acknowledges that pulse and rhythmic patterns found in our heart beats, in our breathing and in our body movements are just a few indicators of rhythms with which all our life-processes are intrinsically linked.As we know whole range of emotions can be captured and communicated through rhythms, tones and melody. This type of music brings body and soul into perfect harmony.. Makes me dream and travel into the endless space.. Incredibly beautiful sounds.. Thank you, Benji !

Dmitry

03 June at 12:54AM

Launch

One minute of eternity!

Lucy Heath

03 June at 04:10AM

A rich tapestry of sound that should be shared with otherworldly realms.

Barbara Hermon

03 June at 10:04AM

Launch

To complete an amazing journey it goes without saying that a masterpiece by Benjamin Skepper should be included.

Dennis Val

03 June at 12:46PM

Launch

This is fantastic!!

Imani Okenyo

03 June at 01:56PM

Launch

This auditory text weaved itself in one ear and in the other!
This art must make it to space to serve as a transverse horizon upon which we may rest or hang. It's the sound of a cosmic equator.
Absolutely launch!

Silvia Negri Firman

03 June at 04:00PM

Jettison

I love all of Skepper's work but this piece especially touches my soul .

Silvia Negri Firman

03 June at 06:00PM

Launch

I love all of Skepper's work but this piece especially touches my soul .

Yumiko Saito

03 June at 11:11PM

His music is the place where time and cultures intersect. Benjamin is a vagabond, for me, this music is a rich tale of the pleasure and pains of what it is to be a human being.

Luke S

04 June at 04:06AM

Launch

Whenever a country is about to choose its representation, at any matter, despite of course focusing on the quality, the choice relates to what’s the most universal in describing the whole nation, what’s the most familiar to the possibly biggest amount of people.
In this case we’re choosing a representation of our planet. We, inhabitants of the Earth, have a very special occasion to pick a piece a music that is not only amazing but also not limited to only one region or one cultural influence. We’re about to choose music that represents us all.
For obvious reasons I can’t think of a better choice than mr. Benjamin Skepper – a contemporary multi-talented artist who doesn’t seem to belong to any particular country or even continent.
When it comes to the history of music – and art in general – his perspicacity cannot be compared to anything else. He’s just a phenomenon. At the same time he’s transcendent and deeply immersed in what humanity is all about. He’s above limits in the way he thinks, being detached from standards, commitments and sentiments and at the same time yearning for all that. The music he creates is the very precious result of that.

Sachiko Koike

04 June at 01:25PM

Launch

When I listened to this music, make me feel very confortable. It remind me my mam's love.

what we should do for the peace in the world is we always feel mam's love .It's very warm and calm. Though it's small thing, it makes big peace.

Jeanette liberte Igawa

05 June at 07:05PM

Launch

Invocation

Flora Gomez

05 June at 08:40PM

Launch

Amoureuse de l'artiste et de sa musique pour l'éternité!

John Aslanidis

05 June at 10:33PM

This is a fragment of a densely rich textured sound scape which invites the audience to ponder what has come before and after this sequence

Stephen Tan

08 June at 03:50PM

Launch

A great balance of nature and human meditation

Kirri Buchler

10 June at 09:42AM

Launch

This lovely work composed by the talented Benjamin Skepper would be perfectly at home travelling into the unknown. In a sense this is a pastiche work between different ancient philosophical and musical practices that like all deep thinkers were and are looking for meaning in something ephemeral, and grasping creatively and lovingly at immortality in an existence that is ultimately unsustainable and over in a blink of an eye.
Sending this into space would be a poetic extension of what all these ancient works were trying to achieve.

Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

12 June at 10:32PM

Launch

Deep and really interesting. Good work!

Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

12 June at 10:37PM

Launch

Excellent work, very deep and interesting.

Caroline

21 June at 06:13PM

Launch

One minute of pure enchantment!! An other mesmerizing masterpiece! Well done Benjamin! Definitely a must to be sent to space as an ethereal testimony gift of peace and harmony from mother earth.

Brian Ritchie

18 September at 02:51PM

Launch

A short glimpse into infinity.

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