Performing medieval music can often be a challenge – the written records of medieval notation were not written with the detail that modern music has, so reproducing it involves research and experimentation. As Andrea Budgey, a member of the quarter Sine Nomine, explains, “you have to fill in the gaps.”
Sine Nomine: Ensemble for Medieval Music, is doing just that, by singing and playing the music written hundreds of years ago. The group was created by Andrea Budgey, Bryan Martin and Randall Rosenfeld in 1991 while they were graduate students. Andrea explained they started it to perform at a reception for medievalists “and it was too much fun not to continue.”
Janice Kerkkamp joined the group in 2000, and since then they offer concerts several times a year in Toronto and occasionally perform for other special occasions. They have also released an album, A Golden Treasury of Mediæval Music, which covers over 500 years of music.
They are also associated with the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) at the University of Toronto, which offers them space to practice and store their instruments. In return, this ensemble in residence gives performances at special occasions and assists scholars with their research.
To learn more about the ensemble and see their schedule of performances, please visit Sine Nomine on the PIMS website.
Here are two songs by Sine Nomine filmed in December 2012, at Saint Thomas’s Anglican Church in Toronto. Both are works composed by Robert Morton, who was based in the Burgundian court in the 15th century.