Alchemy and Music:
Matter, Geometry, and the Ascent of the Soul.
A course in 4 parts
Teacher: Brian Cotnoir
In this course, explore the history and significance of alchemical music and the connection between these arts in a fascinating journey through the teachings and compositions of the adepts.
Class 1 – Matter, Geometry, and the Cosmos
Introduction – overview, scope, and limitations of the course.
Cosmology, Alchemy, Harmonics – Theories and Worldview.
Pythagoras – Monochord
Music of the Spheres I
Quintillianus – Three Books On Music
Class 2 – Ascent of the Soul
Neo-Platonic and Hermetic ideas of ascent.
Music of the Spheres II
Janus and Hekate and the Orphic Hymns
Alchemy as ascent through descent.
Class 3 – Planets, Pitch, and Vowels
Planets and Pitch – Systems of Designation.
Pitch and Vowels – The Correspondences.
Vowel Signing and Barbaric Words.
Marsilio Ficino – Music, Singing, Movement, and Alchemy.
Trance and Ecstasy.
Music/Sound as a Material Force
Class 4 – Performance and Some Speculations
Atalanta Fugiens – Music, Text, and Meaning in alchemical discourse
Claudio Monteverdi – Music as Emblem/Symbol
Speculations on possibilities, production, and performance
Brian Cotnoir is an alchemist, artist, and award-winning filmmaker. A contributor to Frater Albertus’ Parachemy, he is also the author of a series of Alchemy Zines. His books include Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter (2017), The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Alchemical Meditations, On the Quintessence of Wine, and the Emerald Tablet, his translations of and commentary on, the earliest Arabic and Latin versions of this seminal text. His Emerald Tablet was part of the Language of the Birds: Occult and Art show in 2016 in New York City.
He occasionally gives talks and has presented workshops and seminars around the world on various aspects of alchemical theory and practice based on his research.
His film work has been screened at Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, HBO, PBS and other international venues.
Khepri Press, launched in 2014 with the publication of the Emerald Tablet, is the vehicle and portal for his alchemical work.
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