Many are discovering the beauty of traditional Gregorian chant thanks to a song from a popular video game.
We never would have guessed that a video game would put Gregorian chant in the spotlight, but singers of both sacred and secular music are flocking around the theme from Halo. Earlier this year, Aleteia reported on the Halo theme popping up during a March Madness broadcast, but now it’s reached a sacred stage with a new recording from Helsinki Cathedral.
The song was performed by Munx Gregoriana, a vocal ensemble that has previously transformed music from the video game series Final Fantasy into Gregorian-style fare. This recording features four voices, but only three of the members could be present for the filming of the video.
From the crypt church of Helsinki Cathedral, Munx Gregoriana puts on quite a show, complete with overtones which give the impression of a much larger group. They gave a flawless performance of the tune, which is made all the more glorious by the phenomenal acoustics offered by the low, sloping ceilings of the crypt church.
While they are dressed as monks for the video, the performers of Munx Gregoriana are not actually members of a religious order. They are, however, exceedingly skilled at performing the traditionally Catholic art form of Gregorian chant and they maintain good relationships with their local Catholic churches. Helsinki Cathedral was happy to let them record in its crypt church, and for rehearsals they were allowed to use the fantastic sound space of Suomenlinna church.
It’s not all video game music or faux-Gregorian chants for Munx Gregoriana, however, as they have performed their excellent brand of sacred singing at Suomenlinna church on other occasions. In fact, they performed a concert in the Finnish church just last August, in which they recorded a rendition of “Herra, muista sun liittos päälle,” or “Lord, remember my covenant.”