Nahm’sayin? I Found Medieval Music in a Hopeless Place

Graphic Deanna Hewitt

“Whan the Aprill with his shoures soote.“
—Geoffrey Chaucer

… Paris is a reasonably pleasant place to be during the summer. There were no Aprill shoures in 2017 though, and Paris was hot as shit. Like, a three shoures per day hot.

On one such day as hot as Guy-Concordia metro during in July, I lay in bed terrified, knowing that the even tiniest movement would stain my shirt with sweat and make me smelly. I couldn’t just stay in the apartment all day though, no. That would mean wasting the cute outfit I had just put on.

“Shit, okay. Time to go outside,” I thought to myself, still terrified.

Not even 15 metres into my walk, pita bread-sized stains started to appear on my grey Florida Gators shirt. I was no longer cute, and probably should have gone back inside but I decided to keep walking.

It was the best and most influential decision I ever made in my entire life.

I caught sight of a metal music store a few blocks away from my apartment, and decided to go check it out. The best place to go when you’re sweating like Robert Hays in Airplane! is a stuffy record store, and I will hear no words to the contrary.

As I entered the shop, “Bleak” by Opeth was playing—and was playing loud. Finally, things were starting to go right for me.

As I browsed through stacks of lovely death-metal records, a noise came from across the sound system. A noise that would permanently alter the course of my very existence.

I immediately pulled out my phone to Shazam the shit out of this audible candy. The result came in quick. It read “Sverker” by Corvus Corax, a band that I soon learned recreates medieval music.

Much of what is known about medieval music has probably been lost to the fact that people back then were too selfish to record their delightful sounds for posterity. Bands like Corvus Corax need to do lots of research on the instruments and musical tendencies that historians theorize were popular during the time.

Does your music have historical research? Doubt it.

In that moment, I felt a combination of feelings that I hadn’t felt in at least a few months. I simultaneously felt like dancing around the royal court like the court jester that I am, and I also felt like throwing on some fucking sweet armour and slaying the piss out of some medieval tribe like the Vandals or Normans or some shit. Unlike Corvus Corax, I am entirely uninterested in doing historical research.

If you ever feel like slaying medieval tribes and generally reconnecting with the sounds of yore, medieval music may be what you’re looking for.

If you’re afraid that listening to this music may eventually infiltrate your vocabulary and, consequently, cause you to accidentally use the word “yore” on a date and you’ll end up alone forever—a legitimate concern, I might add—stay the fuck away from it.

It’s too late for me, so save yourself.