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May 06, 2006

Rosslyn reloaded

Rosslyn Chapel was a destination for Templar enthusiasts, Masons and anti-Masons long before Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code turned it into a hidden history tourist trap. People can find meaning in almost anything. This is thanks in large part to a nervous system evolved to infer patterns from a somewhat chaotic environment. It is small wonder Rosslyn should find itself at a nexus of geomantic and psychic inference; especially the kind that kind be transformed into mass-market paperback form. The Rosslyn Motet is a new spin on finding hidden significance in the Chapel's decor (via Warren Ellis).

For hundreds of years experts and visitors alike have puzzled over the carvings in the chapel. Whilst some debate whether they point to hidden treasure, Edinburgh composer Stuart Mitchell thinks he has cracked one part of the enigma.

He believes that the ornate ceiling of carved arches, featuring 213 decorated cubes holds a code for medieval music. His father Thomas Mitchell spent 20 years cracking this code in the ceiling and now Stuart is orchestrating the findings for a new recording called The Rosslyn Motet.

Cymatics or Chladni patterns, secret Arabic science and the Devil's Interval all feature. My first reaction is to dismiss the whole project as so much nonsense. But the Rosslyn Motet itself is lovely no matter how Mitchell came up with it. Plus I have learned a new word.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 6, 2006 10:37 AM

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