Mireille Capelle

Musical team

Bodo Peeters (musical assistant/ electronics)

Interpretations by
HERMESensemble with
Geert Callaert
Karin de Fleyt
Gaetan La Mela
Peter Merckx
Stijn Saveniers
Marc Tooten

The composition LA DAME A LA LICORNE by Mireille Capelle is inspired by the tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn from the early 16th century, made in Flanders and kept in the Musée de Cluny in Paris.

The composition contains both an acoustic and an electronic version. The acoustic version is completely natural, emotional and human. The metamorphosis into the electronic version takes us to other dimensions. The message remains the same, but brings our material presence closer to our magical, mystical presence.

“When I eat an apple, I eat the spring, the sun, the earth, the rain, the wind. My mouth receives a substance beyond material substance. When I give a kiss, my mouth meets the lips of a human being and all that it is, where it comes from, what it believes, what it loves, if I breathe a flower, I breathe beauty, color, all this powerful world which is unknown to me but whose trace touches me, calls me. If I see a star, a cloud, if I hear the song of a bird.

I seek a path to universal, telepathic communication.
Perhaps the ideal sound can be heard in the grandeur of inhabited silences in timeless spaces.”
That is the message of La Dame à la Licorne.” (Mireille Capelle)

Textiles as carriers of colour and meaning, woven textures as storytellers. From 2021 onwards, HERMESensemble will work on a series of sound tapestries based on iconic tapestries.

The loom and the production of tapestries is the metaphor par excellence for modernisation. The device refers both to industrialisation processes, using nature as a raw material for the mass production of goods, and to the manufacture of the most refined luxury artworks in our heritage.

The loom has ominous mythical roots, as the instrument of three arranging goddesses who determine the course of life of both gods and men. As the weapon that grants ultimate power to women, the loom symbolises the era of women.

The Lady and the Unicorn is a six-piece masterpiece from the early 16th century, made in Flanders and kept in the Musée de Cluny in Paris. The paintings refer to the five senses and make connections between the physical constitutions of people and animals. The sixth and largest canvas in particular offers a wondrous enigma. It has a somewhat different style from the other canvases and is adorned with the caption À Mon Seul Désir. Many see this as a reference to chivalry and courtly love. But a more recent work of art by Heidi C. J. Hallett presents with my unique desire as a translation of the riddle. The human is the only species that desires material objects, although we have the same senses as all other animals. Whether the lady on the carpet picks up the necklace or puts it away doesn’t matter, the point is that she appreciates and cherishes it.

LA DAME A LA LICORNE is one of the Architectures Sonores of Mireille Capelle.