Mechelen - Museum Hof van Busleyden


Mechelen Choirbook (B-MEa-ms-ss) © Exponanza


Permanent exhibition (temporarily closed)

The Renaissance residence of the humanist Hieronymus Busleyden in Mechelen (†1517) has been converted into a new city museum with international allure. The Mechelen Choirbook, an illuminated music manuscript from Petrus Alamire’s workshop, was probably made in Mechelen around 1515-16, making it the only Alamire manuscript to have been preserved in its original place of destination. The manuscript is permanently on display – either the original or the facsimile published by the Alamire Foundation – in the space for which the Foundation has provided the concept, in collaboration with the curators.

This assignment for the Alamire Foundation resulted in the installation POLYPHONY UNRAVELLED 5.1.3, designed around a recording of two Kyries from the Mechelen Choirbook made for this project (one from a mass by Pierre de la Rue and the other from the opening mass by Matthaeus Pipelare), performed by ParkCollegium. Each voice is recorded and broadcast separately and can be heard from a specific place in the darkened room. Thus the layers of polyphony are built up voice by voice in an experiential installation.

Furthermore, an application for a touch screen was designed in collaboration with the designers of the museum: a digital book to leaf through, in which selected pages from the choirbook are elucidated with extra information about the history, illumination, material aspects and music.

Currently, the museum is closed. It reopens on Saturday 24 February 2024.