Monday, May 22, 2017

John Wall delivers Paper at Space, Place, and Image Conference

John N. Wall, one of the Principal Investigators for the Virtual St Paul's Cathedral Project, delivered a paper at the recent conference on Space, Place, and Image in Early Modern English Literature, held at the University of Lausanne on May 11th - 13th, 2017.

Wall's paper was entitled "The Contested Pliability of Sacred Space in St Paul's Cathedral and Paul's Churchyard in Early Modern London." Wall explored ways in which changing concepts of the sacred influenced uses of space in and around St Paul's Cathedral in the years after the Elizabethan Settlement of Religion. 

Joining Wall at this conference were other Donne scholars, including Mary Morrissey (University of Reading), Dennis Flynn (John Donne Society), Mary Ann Lund (University of Leicester), Joel Salt (University of Saskatchewan), Arnaud Zimmerman (University of Notre Dame), Catherine Evans (University of Sheffield), and Peter Mitchell (University of Wales).

Under the leadership of Dr. Kirsten Stirling, the University of Lausanne is becoming a center for Donne studies and early modern English literature. 

In fact, the John Donne Society will hold its next annual meeting at the University of Lausanne in June of 2018. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Richard Pinel Joins the Virtual Cathedral Production Team

We welcome Richard Pinel, the new Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, to our Production Team for the Virtual St Paul's Cathedral Project.

Richard will work with Roger Bowers, his colleague at Jesus College, and with the Choir at Jesus College to choose repertoire and record the music for choir and organ we will need for our recreation of worship at St Paul's in the 1620's.

Richard comes to the Cathedral Project and to Jesus College from his post as Assistant Director of Music at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

An international award-winning organist, Richard has also held leadership positions with the choirs at Magdalen College, Oxford and Perth Cathedral, Australia.

He has also held the organ scholarship of St Albans Cathedral and Magdalen College, Oxford.

Richard began his participation in the English Choral Tradition early in life, as a chorister at All Saints’ Church, Northampton.

He was awarded the prestigious organ scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford in 2002. 

Richard's playing of the organ has been hailed as ‘a force of nature’. He has won numerous prizes, including First Prize, the Ad Wammes Prize, and the Haji Hakim Prize at the Breda International Organ Competition in The Netherlands.

For more about Richard, including a discography of his recordings, go here

Congratulations to Richard for all his accomplishments, and many, many thanks for agreeing to help us recreate the musical life of St Paul's Cathedral in the early 17th century!

John Donne Society Recognizes the Virtual Paul's Cross Project

The John Donne Society has presented the Virtual Paul's Cross Project with the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Digital Publication for 2013. 

Our thanks to Heather Dubrow, President of the John Donne Society, and to all the members of the Society, for this generous recognition!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Great Fire Redux

London burned again yesterday, only this time only in the form of a 320 foot long replica built for the occasion out of wood on the banks of the Thames. 

Watch the London Replica burn here:

Here is how al-Jazeeria covered the story:

For the Guardian's version of the story, go here. 

For more pictures of the event, go here. 

The Guardian also has a story about major buildings that were destroyed in the Great Fire, including St Paul's, here.

Given the profound impact that the Great Fire had on Wren's career as an architect, I've always had a sneaking suspicion that Wren set the Fire in Pudding Lane. 

But I know that's silly talk. Just joking folks, just joking . . . . .

Sunday, September 4, 2016

St Paul's and The Great Fire

The Great Fire of London reached St Paul's Cathedral 350 years ago today, on September 4th, 1666.

The photograph above, from the Evening Standard, suggests that the folks at Wren's St Paul's have been having fun projecting images of a fire onto the dome, perhaps as part of a memorial event.

We proposed several years ago that the folks at the cathedral work with us to have a more elaborate exhibit on this 350th anniversary occasion. 

Our plan would have involved projecting images of the preFire cathedral onto the facade of today's cathedral, then adding images of the fire, to conclude with today's St Paul's rising from the ashes.  

But we didn't get anywhere -- the cathedral's response was that they weren't sure their fire insurance would cover the risk.

Seems they figured out the difference between virtual and real fire, in time for the Great Fire Anniversary.

In any case, if you want a chronology of the Great Fire, please see below. 

And watch the VPCP website for some significant changes in the days and weeks ahead.