Rosśa's commission for The New Consort, an American Prize winning ensemble in Chamber Music, is being premiered April 5th through 7th, 2019 in both Connecticut and New York. "The Watchtower Psalms," a multi-movement work for five voices, was inspired by the Enochian experiments in angelic communication by John Dee and Edward Kelley in the 17th Century. Tickets can be bought HERE!
Rosśa explains the background behind their creation of this piece:
"Since I was 18, I have had a fascination with the 16th Century experiments of John Dee and Edward Kelley’s with angelic communication. Dee, a mathematician, occult philosopher, and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, employed Kelley, a medium, to help him discover the secrets of nature and the supernatural through obsidian scrying. Their activities, inspired by the conjurations of King Solomon, lent a new perspective to what I had previously been educated about otherworldly communication. The events led to a remarkable amount of documentation, resulting in several tablets that named the angels that existed within each level of the hierarchy, as well as the documentation of Enochian, the language of the angels. While Dee and Kelley’s experiments may have very well been a figment of imagination, their extensive output has made many interfaith believers of Enochian Magick, be it Christian, Pagan, Jewish, or otherwise.
When Brian Mummert approached me to compose a piece for The New Consort, I knew that this was the topic on which to base the work. I immediately created text that followed style and structure of the Old Testament psalms, and in turn, created a different kind of liturgical piece, delving into secrets that ideologically are not considered any part of the religious canon. I wanted to create a sense of a different world beyond our own, one that might evoke fear, but also shows a sense of reverence, where we see a light of hope in a path not often turned down.
The Watchtower Psalms is the embodiment of the ceremony where the practitioner calls the four corners, otherwise known as the watchtowers. Each quadrant has an elemental angel assigned to it: EXARP (Air), HKOMA (Water), NANTA (Earth), and BITOM (Fire). Each of these angels has many classifications of other angels underneath them. Collectively, the four watchtowers form the Tablet of Union, a symbol of the Quintessence, the spiritual amalgamation of the quadrants becoming one. When the Watchtowers are all called, it is then that our divine natures can be found.
The Watchtowers each have an assigned direction, element, and color. As a synesthete, I composed each movement based on the colors and emotional reactions I had from each element. Their symbolism goes as follows:
EXARP - East/Air/Yellow HKOMA - West/Water/Blue NANTA - North/Earth/Black BITOM - South/Fire/Red
Many thanks to Brian Mummert and The New Consort for their commissioning of this work. I have had a blessed journey creating this piece for them."