BBC Radio 3 Late Junction: Musical Purgatories

On the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Verity Sharp journeys through musical purgatories, sonic infernos and auditory visions of paradise.

The words of Dante Alighieri (d. 14th September 1321) have been central in shaping notions of Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Paradise (Paradiso) in the West. A cornerstone of Italian literature and medieval theology, his Divine Comedy narrates the journey from damnation to grace, through encounters with saints and sinners and poets of the past. In the week of his death seven hundred years ago, Verity Sharp explores musical expressions of the struggle for the human soul, bringing together sounds from a variety of cultures and traditions. Noise artist Puce Mary offers a prayer to the “Ex-lady of delight”; Alasdair Roberts’ account of The Lyke-Wake Dirge brings glimpses of heavenly harp amongst the sombre refrains; and separated by nine centuries, Tanya Tagaq and Hildegard von Bingen use the power of the voice to give expression to the soul’s tribulations. Also in the show we’ve new creations from the inimitable jazz composer Henry Threadgill and high-energy dance music from Tanzania.

Produced by Phil Smith
A Reduced Listening production from BBC Radio 3



1 Dos Santos – A Shot in the Dark

2 Puce Mary – I Pray For Deliverance, The Size Of My Desires

3 Rakhi Singh – Dhūṛa

4 Desire Marea & Griffit Vigo – Tavern Kween (Griffit Vigo Remix)

5 Scattered Purgatory 破地獄 – Limbo Litter

6 Hildegard von Bingen – Symphonia et Ordo virtutum: O Euchari, in leta via

7 Tanya Tagaq – Ajaaja

8 Vera Kappeler & Peter Conradin Zumthor – Orthopedia Avantgarde

9 Kaspar – Toupies

10 Alasdair Roberts – A Lyke Wake Dirge

11 Lucy Canchimbo – Alabao: „Sábado de mañana“ (Saturday morning)

12 Matteo Fargion & Andrea Spreafico – Canto 1

13 Henry Threadgill – Now And Then

14 Fimber Bravo – Call My Name

15 VARIÁT – Wake Up, Fire

16 MC Kono – Il Jini Song Wapi

17 Francesco Giannico – Primum Mobile

18 Dark Star Safari – Patria

19 Glenn Astro – Flux

20 Nikki Sheth – Paddabolela

21 M. Ward – Migration Of Souls

22 Mary Lattimore – A Unicorn Catches A Falling Star In Heaven

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