Meditationes Vitae Christi I

by Alvaro Barcala

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In this project I am making musical meditations on the Life Of Jesus. To do so, and besides my personal approaches, I am helping myself mainly with the ‘Vita Christi’ (written by Ludolf of Saxony) and getting some insights from the exercises of St Ignatius (although I will get deeper into them in the future).

I’ve based these meditations mainly on choral means. Using music to meditate on the Life Of Jesus is an attempt to convey and commune with “things” for which I cannot find the words or images.

I’d like to emphasize that the Choral approach in these musical meditations is of utmost importance for me since I am trying to evoke the mystery of Incarnation and the human aspect of Jesus’s soteriological life through human voice and human singing (although, not having other mediums, I’ve had to do it with a software).

I make these musical meditations sometimes more rationally, sometimes more affectively, depending on the character of the event of Jesus’s Life. Of course there could be infinite ways to interpret, meditate, re-vive, re-call, re-member, or basically Live inside you each event of Jesus’s Life (always within the canons), but my own life is historical too and I have to stick to the way I feel and see things at this very moment to get true enriching and personal outcomes. Maybe in another moments of my life I will make different musical sets about the same events, but I guess their essence will be always the same, I cannot escape from my limits, at least with music. In any case it would be interesting to make different sets in the future just to meditate on the subtle changes and what they would mean for me, or for the listener.

And as another complementary exercise I have done some little paintings/drawings to meditate on those events visually, having the music as reference too. I should say that at the beginning I was planning to make some paintings for this with the best skillful manner I could, but soon I noticed that approach was not making me any good. So I stopped and tried to make the paintings in the most simple manner I could. This exercise has not served me just to appease some pride inclinations when trying to be skillful, but I think giving to the paintings a childish appearances evokes that the events I am painting belong to the child life of Jesus. I am aware that the childish appearance of the paintings sometimes do not fit the the serious character of the music, but my intention with all these artistic exercises is not making a design or graphic work coherently combined with music so that having an “album”… they are mainly meditative exercises with different purposes. At the same time the childish appearance of the drawings somehow evokes what jesus said about children: we have to become a child to enter in the Kingdom of Heaven.


released March 5, 2017



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Alvaro Barcala Madrid, Spain

Illustrator and composer. Barcala bases his compositions mostly on the piano, going through a range of sounds from post-classical, ambient and minimalism.

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