Cantus Planus’ (excerpt) from SUSURRUS I (for 13-course baroque lute and guitar

Cantus Planus (plainchant) is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church. When referring to the term plainsong, it is those sacred pieces that are composed in Latin text. Plainsong was the exclusive form of Christian church music until the ninth century, and the introduction of polyphony.

The monophonic chants of plainsong have a non-metric rhythm. Their rhythms are generally freer than the metered rhythm of later Western music, and they are sung without musical accompaniment (pure monody vs multi-layered monody). This inspired my decision to organize the time using an uneven but organic time signature.

I incorporated the essence of purity and asceticism through a very conscious choice of scales. The Chant in this movement is built on the aeolian pentatonic scale (A C D E F), which is a natural minor scale consisting only of 5 pure natural notes.

SUSURRUS I for 13 Course Baroque Lute and Guitar (2021) composed by MAREK PASIECZNY

  • 0:00 I. Cantus Planus
  • 4:30 II. Incantatio et Psalmu
  • 7:20 III. Canticulum

Marek PASIECZNY – guitar
Jerzy Żak – 13 Course Baroque Lute

Marek plays on ‘Mehliana’ op. 377 by Philip Woodfield strings: D’Addario EJ46FF
Jerzy plays on lute by Jacek Łozak (2016): after Martin Hoffmann (1692) (slightly modified and singly strung) pitch: A=440