HaShem is a vocal piece based on Abraham Abulafia’s permutations of the Tetragrammaton.
An academic article on the rationale for creating this piece appeared on the Rose+Croix journal, volume 5 (2008), but the recording has not until now become publicly available.
From the abstract of “Trans-Temporal Collaboration: How a Thirteenth-century Cabalistic Exercise by Abraham Abulafia Inspired a Contemporary Piece of Meditative Music” by J FW Hasler:
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.
Johann FW Hasler is a professor of music at Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, and a scholar of the influence of occultism in music from his own spiritual experience and interested in expanding and nurturing the musical art with other patterns of thought and knowledge.