600 Year Old Dancefloor Smash Waiting to Happen

DaVinci Code on the DancefloorMusicians recently unlocked a 600 year old mystery that had been encoded into the walls of the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, the one featured in The Da Vinci Code. The song was carved into the walls of the chapel in the form of geometric shapes that a father-son team — both are musicians and the father is an ex-Royal Air Force code breaker — finally matched to so-called Chladni patterns (see the Wikipedia article on cymatics). The recovered melody was paired with traditional lyrics (translated into Latin) and recorded; the result can be heard in this video. The video also gives a visual representation of how the engravings match up to the cymatic patterns.”

How long before someone turns this ancient piece into the “Dancefloor Smash of 2007”?!?

Taken from their website:

A Symbolic Symphony in Stone – ‘Frozen Music’

Rosslyn Chapel holds a musical mystery in its architecture and design. At one end of the chapel, on the ceiling are 4 cross-sections of arches containing elaborate symbolic designs on each array of cubes (in actual fact they are rectangles mostly). The ‘cubes’ are attached to the arches in a musically sequential way. And to confirm this, at the ends of each arch there is an angel playing a musical instrument of a different kind. After 27 years of study and research by Stuart’s father Thomas.J.Mitchell, we believe he has found the pitches and tonality that match the symbols on each cube, revealing its melodic and harmonic progressions. It is what we could call ‘frozen music’, a little like cryogenics. The music has been frozen in time by symbolism, it was only a matter of time before the symbolism began to ‘thaw out’ and begin to make sense to scientific and musical perception.  

Tommy Mitchell (Stuart’s father) unravelled the music from the symbolism and Stuart has produced the music using authentic instrumentation in the 1400’s.  

Tommy began work on this amazing project over 25 years ago and the Rosslyn Motet is the culmination of a wonderful collaboration with his son Stuart who is the production manager of the project.  

What does it sound like?  

This is the most important aspect of the entire project for most people and is best explained by listening to the music. The unusual combination of instruments, their dynamics, tunings and textures re-create a sound long forgotten from the past. The melodies are simple but harmonically develops and unfolds in the most simplistic but charming way. The sequential arrangement of the cubes at many times is a series of repeated notes/symbols signifying a more functional than aesthetic sense to the music. Sometimes it sounds a bit like a ‘nursery rhyme’ and there is also a feeling of a ‘Celtic air’ about the music, possibly connected to Orkney where the Sinclair’s home once was. We will be recording the piece as authentically as possible using instruments and the correct Pythagorean medieval tunings of the 1400’s.   

Listen to an excerpt from the album  

Concealed Music?  

Why would anyone want to hide music? Could it be threatening or dangerous to someone or something? Unless it was very special piece that contained magical, harmonic and resonant properties that resonated in sympathy with spiritual beliefs. Was this music ‘outlawed’ by the Catholic church for some reason?   

Or perhaps the music was not concealed at all and it is simply a musical language awaiting a musician to understand its meaning.   

These are some of the questions Tommy has approached in his research and has discovered some fascinating and historical aspects to this elusive musical enigma.   

Tommy’s new book describes the research and findings he has made within the symbolism of the cubes and will be available in Autumn 2006.The book explains in detail how he discovered the pitches to the cubes and its symbolic musical significance through the law of resonance and sacred geometry.


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