Austrian Monks Score Universal Contract From YouTube Video
Austrian monks from the Monastery of the Holy Cross will join Amy Winehouse and Eminem at Universal Music this year.
The Heiligenkreuz monks were selected by Universal after they posted this video of their Gregorian chant on YouTube:
Heiligenkreuz Abbey is a Cistercian monastery on the territory of the town of Heiligenkreuz in the southern part of the Wienerwald. It has existed without interruption since its foundation in 1133, and is thus the second-oldest extant Cistercian monastery in the world.
On 31 May 1188 Leopold V of Austria presented the abbey with a relic of the True Cross, which is still to be seen and since 1983 is exhibited in the chapel of the Holy Cross. This relic was a present by Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, King of Jerusalem to duke Leopiold V in 1182- Wiki.
The BBC reported on this recording news:
Universal Music, home to Eminem and Amy Winehouse, advertised in religious publications for “monks, men of the cloth and sacred singers”.
Bosses were sent hundreds of demos but were impressed most by the clip from Austria’s Monastery of the Holy Cross.
An album, set for global release, will be recorded next month.
The Cistercian monastery, in Austria’s Vienna forest, is home to 80 monks and dates back to 1133.
Gregorian chant, which gained a new audience through Enigma’s run of chart success in the 1990s, dates back to the early Middle Ages.
The search for singing monks began in February.
Universal A&R executive Tom Lewis told the BBC News website he had been “blown away” by the quality of the monks’ singing.
“These guys found about the competition through a friend of theirs in London and they sent a link of their monastery and of them singing on YouTube,” he said.
“It was beautiful, beautiful music and they’re using the very latest in terms of communication devices available to them to get their music heard.
“They’re lovely people, they’re very passionate about their music and they’re very excited about this opportunity,” Mr Lewis added.
“They feel it’s an opportunity for this music, that’s obviously so special to them, to be heard.”
The Heiligenkreuz monastic community focuses on liturgy and Gregorian chant in Latin.
UPDATE: The Anchoress has a wonderful Easter posting today.
Scared Monkeys also has a nice Easter posting.