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Trans-Temporal Collaboration: How a Thirteenth-century Cabalistic Exercise by Abraham Abulafia Inspired a Contemporary Piece of Meditative Music

Keywords: "Rosicrucian Order , AMORC , cabala , kabbalah , qabala , choral music , abulafia , hashem , divine name , YHVH , Tetragramaton , Judaism , mysticism , esoteric"

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Abstract:

This paper traces the historical, mystical, and Cabalistic background of the inspiration for my choral composition, HaShem, which is an approach to an interpretation/transcription of a Cabalistic exercise proposed by the Sephardi mystic Abraham Abulafia in the thirteenth century. The basis of Abulafia’s exercise is the recitation of all the possible vowel combinations in the Tetragrammaton, or secret name of God, which is traditionally written as only four consonants. The purpose of the exercise is to exhaust all possible consonant-vowel combinations and thus “hit the nail on the head” by uttering, among the many combinations, the true and original form of the Lost Name of God, which in Cabalistic mysticism is the key to Creation and enlightenment. As a composer, I have interpreted Abulafia’s textual instructions as sound, and have transcribed my interpretation of his exercise into musical notation. This paper comments on the background and rationale of such interpretation/transcription.

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