Francesca Jandasek | The Immured Woman

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Avant Garde: Mixed Media Avant Garde: Sound Collage Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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The Immured Woman

by Francesca Jandasek

This haunting sound collage of original spoken text, digitally manipulated found sound, vocal melodies, and digitally created sound, was inspired by the Romanian legend of the Argeș Monastery and Gregorian and Byzantine chants.
Genre: Avant Garde: Mixed Media
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Silence (feat. Jessica Soza)
0:17 $0.99
2. Legenda Meșterului Manole și a Mânăstirii Argeșului (feat. Dan Istrate & Jessica Soza)
4:31 $0.99
3. Stahie (feat. Jessica Soza)
5:05 $0.99
4. Lullaby (feat. Jessica Soza)
5:44 $0.99
5. The Legend of the Immured Woman (feat. Dan Istrate & Jessica Soza)
11:09 $0.99
6. Shadow (feat. Jessica Soza)
11:12 $0.99
7. Shadow Poem (feat. Jessica Soza)
1:17 $0.99
8. Timpul Se Oprește (feat. Jessica Soza)
1:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Dear Listener,

This haunting sound collage is an integral part of a 40-minute long episodic interdisciplinary performance work, The Immured Woman. Inspired by the Romanian legend of the Argeș Monastery in which a pregnant woman is immured to make the walls of the monastery stand, The Immured Woman investigates the themes of womanhood, immortality, creation, and procreation. The sound collage consists of multiple components including original spoken text, digitally manipulated found sound, vocal melodies, and digitally created sound. The main motifs within the music are inspired by Gregorian and Byzantine chants and Romanian liturgical services. The final performance work of The Immured Woman includes live dance performance, original text and music, an architectural set, film projections of sexualized fruit, and a time-stop animation of an original illuminated musical manuscript to unveil art creation as a metaphor for procreation and procreation as a metaphor for art creation.


How should we remember this legend? The Legend of Master Manole and the Argeș Monastery, or should I say, the Legend of the Immured Woman?

Once upon a time in Wallachia, Prince Negru Voda wanted to build the most beautiful monastery. He hired the best stone mason, Master Manole, and his nine men. For seven years, everything Manole and his men built during the day, at night would crumble to the ground as if it were cursed. Prince Negru Voda finally threatened, “If you cannot make the walls of the monastery stand, I will put you and your men to death.”

That night, Manole had a dream that in order to make the walls of the monastery stand, the first woman who comes to the site in the morning should be immured. He told his men that this was what they had to do, and together they made a pact build in the first woman to come to the site into the walls of the monastery.

The next day, Manole looked into the distance, and to his dismay, saw his pregnant wife Ana coming to bring him lunch. He prayed to God for rain, he prayed for wind, but her love was strong and nothing stopped her. He tried to convince his men not to immure his wife, but they held him to his pact. When she arrived, Manole and his men told her they wanted to play a game of building walls around her body. Happily, she accepted, until she realized it was no game. She implored to Manole and his men to let her go, but they turned a deaf ear to her cries, kept their pact, and continued building. That night the walls of the monastery remained standing.

When the Argeș Monastery was completed, Prince Negru Voda asked Manole and his men, “Can you ever build another building as beautiful as this one?” Manole and his men assured him that they could. Prince Negru Voda, afraid that they would build a monastery more beautiful and grand for someone else, destroyed the scaffolding, stranding Manole. Manole built himself wooden wings and tried to escape but flew to his death. Where Manole fell, a spring of water rushed from the ground, symbolizing his tears.

The Romanian legend of the Argeș Monastery is “pregnant” with meaning and metaphor. As a woman and immigrant from an Eastern European family, the struggle between the expectation of procreation, the desire to pursue individual artistic expression, the sacrifice of what is required for either path, the question of which has more value, and the nagging thought of “How will I honor where I came from yet leave my authentic mark on this world?” has deeply affected my daily existence since I was a teenager. The beginning of menses, of womanhood, presented a dual reality, a tough choice: creation (i.e. becoming an artist) or procreation (i.e. becoming a mother). I wondered, “How should we remember this legend? Should we remember the man who created the masterpiece, or the woman whose potential for a masterpiece was sacrificed, taken away; the Legend of Master Manole and the Argeș Monastery, or, the Legend of the Immured Woman?” This legend touched on the crux of my life struggle, and I was compelled to explore it with every discipline and every tool I had available to me.

As I was trying to make sense out of creation, procreation, and immortality while attempting to redefine my purpose as a woman and as an artist, I had a valuable and surprising insight. I realized creation is a paradox. We have to destroy in order to create. At every moment that we are creating, we are destroying what has come before it. In the act of making something, we are creating a new reality and destroying the old one at the same time. We are simultaneously the creator and the destroyer. Whether we create or procreate, neither leads to immortality. Any marks we make on this world will eventually fade and therefore are in vain. Maybe immortality, making a mark, is not the point after all. Maybe, in the end, it is the act of doing, which is the point of existence. This realization, that the point of creation is the act of creation, has provided an amazing freedom and inspiration as I venture out into my lifetime of further creation.

Thank you for letting me share my journey with you, and thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy the sound.


*This album was engineered and mixed by Don Nichols.
Special thanks to Don Nichols, Jessica Soza, and Dan Istrate for their support and beautiful work!



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