Christian Mysticism


This New Sounds offers music from the Christian mystic tradition from the 12th to the 20th centuries.  There’s music from Dutch composer and lute player Jozef van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch, from their “Concerning the Entrance into Eternity,” with titles that come from Swedish scientist, philospher, & Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.  One of the works also contains poetry by the Spanish language poet and theologian (Saint) John of the Cross.

Text by Saint John of the Cross also figures in music from Norway by Jon Balke, sung by Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui.  There's also music by Polish composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Mieczyslaw Litwinski and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams.  Plus, something from James Blackshaw.

PROGRAM #3322 (First aired on 4/6/2012)                                                    





Amina Alaoui

Arco Iris

Buscante en Mi, var. (Seek yourself in Me), excerpt [2:00]

ECM 2180

Jon Balke & Amina


(text by St. John of the Cross) Toda ciencia transcendiendo [12:09]

ECM 2042

Jozef van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch

The Joy that Never Ends

Concerning the beautiful human form after death [6:43]

Important Records imprec 329

James Blackshaw

Cloud of Unknowing

Running To The Ghost [6:15]

Tompkins Square #1967

All Shall Be Well and All Shall Be Well (and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well)


Forgot Yesterday, Am Today and Will Be Tomorrow [4:22]
, download from, or download for free from

Mieczyslaw Litwinski

Live, WNYC, 1986

The Wise Man Dies A Thousand Times (Text by Angelus Silesius) [5:32]

Not commercially available. Info at


Ancient Music for a Modern Age

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179): O virga ac diadema purpurae [4:51]

RCA 61868
Out of print.  Try or auction sites.

John Adams

El Niño, Part One (Disc 1)

The Christmas Star [6:46]

Nonesuch 79634