PENICUIK VAULTS SINGING

 

Inspired by the Taizé Community

Roger Shutz came to the village of Taizé in Burgundy in 1940 with plans to found a monastery.  The son of a Swiss Protestant father and a French Catholic mother, Brother Roger harboured Jewish refugees during the military occupation of France and founded the Taizé Community with a mission to reconcile and to promote dialogue and peace.  The brothers commit for life to material and spiritual sharing, to celibacy, and to great simplicity. Today, the community is made up of over a hundred brothers from various backgrounds and many nations.  At the heart of daily life in Taizé is the empowerment of togetherness. The brothers live by their own work and don’t accept gifts or donations for themselves.  Some live in small groups – fraternities - among the very poor.   Over the years, thousands of young adults from many countries have found their way to Taizé to experience sharing meals and singing reflectively together.  The harmony of the Taizé approach, with spaces of silence contained by simple repetitive chants, can open sources of inspiration and refreshment from deep within.

 

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Taize                                 Penicuik

 

Around Edinburgh in ancient Vaults

We are not connected with the Taizé community.  Ours is an informal group open to all that sings unaccompanied every Sunday in and around Edinburgh in ancient vaults that lend themselves to the heritage of simple vocal harmonies.  Over twenty years ago in Penicuik some Friends and others accustomed to shared silence began meeting in each other's houses to sing some of the Taizé chants recreationally in a very secular shared enjoyment of voices in harmony.  These small gatherings became a weekly highlight and someone suggested we try the timeless chants in the damp silence of the crypt at Rosslyn Chapel close by.   The effect was electrifying.  Singing together in such powerfully enclosed stone space gradually became the mainspring of the group’s time together, and led us to seek out other places with similarly sympathetic sound and silence. 

For well over a decade and a half now we have been singing every Sunday afternoon in rotation in the medieval spaces of Rosslyn Chapel crypt, Crichton Chapel, Seton Chapel, in Dunfermline Palace undervault and Craigmillar Castle great hall, with kind permission and encouragement from Rosslyn Chapel Trust, Crichton Church Trust, and Historic Scotland. The group has also met for evening singing in Penicuik garden houses. We sing on Sunday afternoons not for any religious reason but because it’s a time when most of us are free to sing together.  During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2006 and 2007 we sang chants on weekdays at the Fringe Venue at St Mark’s, Castle Terrace, and some in the Old St Pauls Fringe Venue in 2007 and 2008.  In 2011 and 2013 we took part in Previously: The Scottish History Festival, singing at Dunfermline and Crichton.

People come and go, the vaults and the singing are our constancy.  Our small group continues over the years, sharing an affection for the spaces we have grown to love, the cool, damp ancient places which have wonderful acoustics and qualities of silence for the meditative chants we sing.  People attach themselves to our group from different backgrounds.  We are neither directed nor trained, and only one or two of us can read music.  We listen to each other and to the surrounding space.  Our choice of chants, the way they begin and end, and the silences that follow them all come from within.

The spaces that we sing in are all very special.  Three are the built-for-voices collegiate chapels endowed by prominent Scots, Crichton, Seton and St Clair, more than 500 years ago so that men and boys could sing for their souls for all time.  Rosslyn chapel crypt's cool dampness, scalloped vaulting and recesses produce a depth of sound and silence to calm some of the media-led busyness of visitors above.  Crichton chapel, in sight of Crichton castle and carefully restored by its own small Trust, has a high vault and a wonderful ambience, and is clearly made for voices.  Seton chapel, simple, empty and airy, has an approach by woodland walk and walled garden that seems to prepare the soul to sing. St Triduana’s, also endowed as a collegiate chapel dedicated to eye health and originally on two levels, with a healing pool of water and flickering reflections in the vault below, has been noisily dried out but the original spirit still captures the imagination in the heart of the city.  The great hall at Craigmillar castle, where Mary Stuart sought refuge, is a solid high-sounding stone chamber reached by a winding stair and overlooks the south of the city and the flanks of Arthur's Seat.  Dunfermline palace was built for Anne of Denmark, who came from a land where fashionable homes were fed with music channelled from singers and instruments kept out of sight in an acoustic chamber.  The tiny acoustic undervault at Dunfermline is approached across a stone bridge, down a tightly winding stone stairwell, beside erstwhile lawn and peacock and finally by threading among ruined foundations.  Birdsong is never far away in these places, except in the dark hours of night.  Not one of them is easy to reach.  Unlocked at the furthest part of a building, or at the end of a long road, a path, a garden, a stairway, they can refresh our spirit with peace and harmony if we open our hearts to share it.

 

Penicuik Vaults Singing around Edinburgh - Rosslyn Chapel Crypt  

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Crichton Collegiate Church

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Penicuik Vaults Singing Edinburgh - Craigmillar Great Hall

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Dates have followed the same sequence year after year after year since the late 1990s.

 

We are not a religious group and never have been.  We enjoy using our voices to make and share sounds of universal cultural heritage in old stone spaces. We sing at vaults in the care of Historic Scotland at Craigmillar Castle, St Triduana’s Chapel, Seton Chapel, and Dunfermline Palace, and in the vaults of the collegiate Chapels at Crichton and Rosslyn in the care of individual conservation Trusts.  Nowadays, St Trid’s has become a regular vault, and we hope that the Scots tradition of harmony singing, which with the support of reformer Regent Moray was kept alive in 16th century great houses after it was banished from Scottish churches, will soon resume its  historical place at Craigmillar after a seven-year gap.

 

Sunday afternoons

2015

4 January 2015 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

11 January Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

18 January Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

25 January Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

1 February 2015 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

8 February Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

15 February Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

22 February Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

1 March 2015 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA to be confirmed

8 March Dunfermline Palace undervault   last one till next winter!

15 March Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

22 March Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt

29 March  St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA to be confirmed

5 April 2015 Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

12 April Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

19 April Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

26 April St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

3 May 2015 Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

10 May  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

17 May Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

24 May Crichton Collegiate Church standing in for St Trids, which is flooded

31 May Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

7 June 2015 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Frustratingly, this sing has been cancelled because of a puddle at the door. It was standing in for our usual Crichton where there’s a recital

13 June (Saturday special) St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel (Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA) singing 3 till 4 for church open day.

14 June Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

21 June St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

28 June  Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

5 July 2015  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

12 July Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

19 July St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

26 July  Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

2 August 2015  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

9 August Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

16 August St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

23 August  Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

30 August  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

6 September 2015 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

13 September St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

20 September  Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

27 September  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

4 October 2015 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

11 October St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

18 October Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

25 October Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

1 November 2015 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

8 November St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

15 November Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

22 November Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

29 November Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

6 December 2015 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

13 December Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

20 December Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

27 December Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

2016

3 January 2016 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

10 January Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

17 January Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

24 Januaryr Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

31 January 2016 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

7 February 2016 Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

14 February Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

21 February Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

28 February St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

6 March 2016 Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

13 March Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

20 March Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

27 March St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

3 April 2016 Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

10 April Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

17 April Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

24 April St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

1 May 2016 Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

8 May  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

15 May Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

22 May St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

29 May Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

5 June 2016 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

11 June Saturday all-afternoon special St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig

12 June Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

19 June St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

26 June Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

3 July 2016 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

10 July Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  No singing, Chapel’s busy month

17 July St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

24 July Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

31 July 2016 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

7 August 2016 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  No singing, Chapel’s busy month

14 August St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

21 August Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

28 August Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

4 September 2016 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

11 September St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

18 September Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

25 September Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

2 October 2016 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

9 October St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

16 October Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

23 October Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

30 October Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

6 November 2016 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

13 November Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

20 October Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

27 October Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

4 December 2016 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

11 December Dunfermline Palace undervault   every four weeks through the winter

18 December  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

25 December Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Closed  

2017

1 January 2017 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel closed Edinburgh EH7 6EA

8 January Dunfermline Palace undervault   our first sing of the New Year!

15 January  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

22 January Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

27 January St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel closed because of flooding

5 February 2017  Special sing to residents at Findlay House, Seafield, Edinburgh

12 February  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

19 February Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

26 February St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel beside St Margaret’s, Restalrig, Jock’s lodge,  Edinburgh EH7 6EA

5 March 2017  Dunfermline Palace undervault   TBC

12 March  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

19 March Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

26 March St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel beside St Margaret’s, Restalrig, Jock’s lodge,  Edinburgh EH7 6EA

2 April 2017 Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

9 April Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

16 April Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

23 April St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

30 April Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

6 May 2017  Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

14 May Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

21 May St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA TBC

28 May Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

4 June 2017 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

10 June Saturday all-afternoon special St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig TBC

11 June Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

18 June St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

25 June Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

2 July 2017 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

9 July Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  No singing, Chapel’s busy month

16 July St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

23 July Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

30 July 2016 Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

6 August 2017Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  No singing, Chapel’s busy month

13 August St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

20 August Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

27 August Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

3 September 2017 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  TBC

10 September St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

17 September Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

24 September Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

1 October 2017 Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

8 October St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

15 October Seton Collegiate Church every four weeks through the summer

22 October Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

29 October Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

5 November 2017 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

12 November Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, we seek to resume singing here every four weeks throughout the winter months EH16 4SY

19 November Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

26 November Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt  

3 December 2017 St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

10 December Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, we seek to resume singing here every four weeks throughout the winter months EH16 4SY

17 December Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

24 December Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt

31 December St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA to be announced, may not take place on New Years Eve

7 January 2018 Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, we seek to resume singing here every four weeks throughout the winter months EH16 4SY

14 January Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

21 January Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt

28 January St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

4 February 2018 Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, we seek to resume singing here every four weeks throughout the winter months EH16 4SY

11 February Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

18 February Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt

25 February St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

4 March 2018 Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, we seek to resume singing here every four weeks throughout the winter months EH16 4SY

11 March Crichton Collegiate Church every four weeks throughout the year

18 March Rosslyn Collegiate Chapel Crypt

25 March St Triduana’s Collegiate Chapel Restalrig, Jock’s lodge, Edinburgh EH7 6EA

1 April 2018 Craigmillar Castle Great Hall to be announced, or  Seton Collegiate Church if open for its first summer Sunday

 

Seton in its garden is only open in summer ; in winter Dunfermline Palace’s marvellous acoustic undervault sometimes takes its place

Times are 3.15-4.30 but in deepest winter we sing earlier at Dunfermline or Craigmillar from 3.00 to 4.00 because these spaces close at dusk

Note that Rosslyn & Crichton remain 3.15-4.30 all the year round.

 

Our access as singers to Craigmillar Castle was temporarily withdrawn by onsite staff from end July 2010, we hope this will be restored late in 2017.

 

St Triduana’s Chapel, Restalrig, is a favourite damp vault for our voices and special for its ophthalmic associations with St Treadwell’s northern hermitage at Papa Westray. We long enjoyed singing at St Trid’s by special arrangement, usually on weekdays, but in Spring 2014 we resumed singing there at 3.15 on Sunday afternoons in a regular 4-week cycle with the other collegiate vaults, and for a while also adopted an extra monthly First Thursday cycle, now ended.

 

Penicuik Vaults singers is a group open to all to take part and meets under the aegis of Penicuik Community Development Trust, registered charity SCO37990.

The Trust is open every day from Mondays to Saturdays 10am-4pm at its Penycoe Press, 7 Bridge Street, Penicuik, Midlothian. Telephone 01968 673767.  Penycoe Press is where the music of The Corries was printed.

Penicuik Vaults singers can be contacted directly through Roger Kelly at Valleyfield House, 17 High Street, Penicuik EH26 8HS   tel 01968 677854  rogercavaye@gmail.com;  roger@kosmoid.net , roger@penicom.net

 

Google with the words: penicuik vaults

Website: www.kosmoid.net/penicuik/vaults

 

Penicuik Vaults Singing around Edinburgh John Street Garden House 2004

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Penicuik Vaults Singing – St Marks Castle Terrace Festival Fringe Venue 2006

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