Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

This Continuum program features three famous singers of the past performing songs from the early music repertoire. The singers are countertenor Alfred Deller, mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and soprano Victoria De Los Angeles. They present a variety of early music selections recorded about forty years ago.

Continuum presents a program devoted Renaissance flute music from the 16th century, specifically, from the Chanson Musicales, printed in Paris in 1533 by the famous French printer, Pierre Attaingnant. Copies of actual Renaissance wooden flutes are used by the ensemble, Zephyrus Flutes, directed by Nancy Hadden. A Renaissance lute is added in a number of the selections. The recording used is: Pierre Attaingnant - Chansons Musicales, Paris 1533. (Zephyrus Flutes) ZF001.

This Continuum presents music by the 15th century French composer, Johannes Ciconia. Beside composing music he was also a music theorist of the late Middle Ages. He was born in Liège, but worked most of his adult life in Italy, particularly in the service of the papal chapel(s) and at Padua cathedral. The Chansonnier Cordiforme dates from the 1470s and is a heart-shaped manuscript containing 43 songs of Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Busnoys and others including several unica.

Continuum presents a program devoted to the music of Guillaume Dufay, who was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance and the most important composer of his time.

He belonged to the group of composers known as the Burgundian School. Dufay had more influence on music in Europe than any other composer of the 15th century and is considered the first major composer of the beginning of the Renaissance period.

Continuum presents a program of early music from the Ars Subtilior period, a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, and in northern Spain at the end of the 14th century. The style is found also in the French Cypriot repertory. The music of this period is highly refined, complex, very difficult to sing and perform, and probably was produced, sung and enjoyed by a small audience of specialists and connoisseurs. The recording used is: Ars Subtilior - Dawn of the Renaissance (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 7.

On this Continuum you'll hear European polyphonic music of the 14th century which flourished in France and the Burgundian Low Countries. The Ars Nova can be described  as "new technique", or "style", following the Ars Antiqua style of the 13th century, particularly the style of the older Notre Dame school in Paris at that time. The recording used is: A Revolution in the Late Middle Ages (The Ars Nova) (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 6.

This Continuum presents unique contemporary performances of medieval music in accordance with the modern revival of music from this period, hence the name, Neo-Medieval. The three ensembles are have been highly praised for their approaches to performing this music. All are different from each other but each gives excellent interpretations of the selections. Recordings used are: Sapphire Night  (Tapestry) - MDG 344 1193-2, Neo-Medieval (Hesperus) - Dorian DIS 80155, and Darkness Into Light (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907274.

This Continuum is a very merry program of early English music, primarily Elizabethan and Jacobean and features songs and dances of that period. Included are songs by some of the most famous composers of that time such as John Dowland, Thomas Campion, and Thomas Morley. And, of course, specific dances like Kemp's Jig and Cupid's Doomsday, Recordings used are: Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9396, Ars Britannica (Pro Cantione Antiqua) - Teldec 2292-46004-2, and When Birds Do Sing (Folger Consort) - Bard BDCD 1-9207.

Thomas Binkley was an American lutenist and early music scholar. He founded and led the famous "Studio der Frühen Musik" in 1960 in Munich which performed and recorded early music for twenty years. This Continuum presents excerpts from two of the ensembles famous CDs directed by Binkley. The music is from the repertoire of the troubadours and trouveres and from the famous Carmina Burana. Recordings used are; Troubadours, Trouveres & Minstrels (Studio der Frühen Musik) - Teldec 4509-97938-2, and Carmina Burana (Studio der Frühen Musik) -Teldec 4509-95521-2

Many movies of great note have used early music in the sound tracks or to accompany the story line. This Continuum presents music from four of these movies including “Henry VIII and His Six Wives” and “Tous les Matins du Monde”. Performances are by outstanding early music ensembles. Recordings used are: Henry VIII and His Six Wives (Early Music Consort of London) - Testament SBT 1250, Tous les Matins du Monde (Jordi Savall et al) - Valois V 4640, Jeanne la Pucelle (La Capella Reial et al) - Auvidis Travelling K 1006, and Farinelli (Les Talens Lyriques et al) - Auvidis Travelling K1005.

Pages