Epicurean Music - Meditative

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    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • I have been adapting Christian medieval chant and Renaissance polyphony into Epicurean music by changing the church latin into excerpts from Lucretius' DRN.


    My first attempt, an Epicurean devotional chant, (a rework of a Bingen chant) is done. I hope the recording is tolerable, it's just for demonstrating the music.


    I view taking music from Epicureanism's historical opponents as one way to strike blows for Epicurus - and we know that Christianity has taken much from Epicureanism as well (fraternal/monastic communities, epistolary scripture, etc.) I hope no one takes issue with this, as aesthetics is distinct from theology.


    Additionally, the use of such music could be incorporated into the solemn component of a twentieth ritual. To be clear, the purpose of such music would be, as Philodemus says, to help us focus on the best psychosomatic disposition and to best fit ourselves to our own blessedness, while fully recognizing that neither music nor prayer have supernatural power.


    Btw, does anyone know how to translate "illuminating light" or "light that illuminates" into Latin? The title is my best guess, but I have no idea honestly.


    The recording:


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    Sheet music attached:

  • Quote

    Btw, does anyone know how to translate "illuminating light" or "light that illuminates" into Latin? The title is my best guess, but I have no idea honestly.

    Lux quae illuminat is perfectly serviceable. "The light which gives light to". Lux illustrans is more directly literal. There is also an accepted poetic usage of the plural, as we see in Lucretius; e.g. Lumina Solis, "the Lights of the Sun". Sounds a bit wonky in English, but he uses it beautifully.


    Other considerations; you've chosen lux, but in the passage you use Lucretius employs lumen. Either choice is perfectly appropriate, but there is a subtle difference—lux generally refers to a stream of light itself, lumen to a source of light. If the image is that of Epicurus holding a torch to light the way, the latter might be preferable. Lumen inlustrans is an option, if you wish to use words already in the passage. Inlustrans is an alternative form of illustrans, and contrary to Martin Smith's translation both are present active participles, i.e. illuminating.


    So lumen inlustrans translates to "illuminating light[-source]".


    All that being said, I think I like your version. Bear in mind that lux is feminine, making quae appropriate. Lumen is neuter, so quae becomes quod.


    Lux Quae Illuminat

    Lumen Quod Illuminat

    Lux Illustrans (or Inlustrans)

    Lumen Illustrans (or Inlustrans)

  • Wow thank you so much, your comprehensive response was incredibly useful!


    I think I will change it to Lumen Inlustrans, so that I am using Lucretius' own words and to cut from 3 words to 2.

  • A self-described Stoic apprentice (but with Epicurean sympathies) and audio designer from France saw my chant video in the Stoic/Epicurean/Buddhist group and offered to mix and master the audio for me. This new version is the result!


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