SINE NOMINE was formed in Toronto in 1991 to research and perform music from before 1500, and has given concerts in Canada, the United States, and the UK. The members have varied backgrounds in vocal and instrumental performance (wind instruments, fiddles, lutes, and percussion), musicology, medieval history, language, literature, liturgy, and manuscript studies. In preparing repertoire, we draw on all of these specialties, and experiment with improvisation and ornamentation, as well as medieval pronunciations and tuning systems, hoping to create performances which are intelligible and enjoyable to modern audiences - and which would not have been wholly foreign to medieval listeners! We blend vocal and instrumental music from medieval courts and churches with readings, and occasionally drama, liturgy, or dance, to provide insight into the fascinating artistic and intellectual culture of the Middle Ages.
Our 2020/21 Toronto season is on hold, pending public health developments, but our current project is a detailed exploration of a 14th-century Italian manuscript with an unusually rich combination of vocal music and instrumental dances.