University of Lincoln’s music department welcomes newly appointed music lecturer Litha Efthymiou into their team. Litha has spent the last year working on a multimedia project in collaboration with historian Kati Ihnat, harpsichordist Jane Chapman, dancer Harriet Parker-Beldeau, theatre artist Esme Patey-Ford and composer Effy Efthymiou. Together, historian and artists engaged in an interdisciplinary devising process to create the piece Rituals to Mould Her With. Inspired by the research of the Old Hispanic Office project (supported by ERC) at the University of Bristol, Rituals is based on an early medieval celebration of the Virgin Mary in Spain, a unique ritual that transmitted a powerful message about virginity as the highest feminine ideal. Informed by foundational Christian texts written for women, this ritual helped to shape what the perfect Christian woman should be: she should live enclosed, intact and untouched, in the image of the Virgin Mary. Rituals reimagined the ritual from a modern perspective, exploring the tension between male ideals for women and women’s reinterpretation of these ideals for themselves. The music plays a major role in reflecting these tensions through its harmonic and structural formation, and also through the use of extended harpsichord techniques.
So far, the work has been performed in four venues around the UK: Kings Place (February 2017), Handel and Hendrix in London (May 2017), Turner Sims in Southampton (December 2016), and the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol (November 2016). The work is supported by the Brigstow institute, Hinrichsen Foundation and RVW Trust.