Integral Oratorio

Unitas Multiplex is the first ever Integral Oratorio.

Steve is near to completing it, and is aiming for a World Premiere in 2020.

Steve is seeking singers to join a choir to rehearse and perform Unitas Multiplex in South Devon. Please click here for more information.

Here is a 3 minute video of Steve introducing Unitas Multiplex to participants at the Integral Europe Conference, May 2018 (update since the video was recorded: there are now 8 movements you can listen to. And Steve is aiming for the World Premiere in 2020) . Scroll down the page to listen to the oratorio and read about it.

Unitas Multiplex follows the line of sacred music for choir, soloists and orchestra, from Spem in Alium, by Thomas Tallis, to Handel’s Messiah, and all the ‘Requiem’s – Fauré, Mozart, Verdi, Karl Jenkins, and so on… But it is completely new. It breaks entirely new ground. Because it is Integral. Unitas Multiplex means ‘unity-in-diversity’, which is a motto for the Integral vision (see Ken Wilber,  ‘One Taste’).  The oratorio expresses integral forms, including integral spirituality, the transcendent unity of religions, human beings as evolution-in-action, holarchy, the spectrum of consciousness, the fundamental unity of humanity, and of humanity with the earth, and with the Kosmos. And it draws the listener in to profound experiences – both individually and collectively – of our deepest nature, as Spirit, eternally now, and as evolution-in-action. The oratorio inspires us to be all we can be as human beings; to open our hearts to the inevitable pain of a human life, and to experience the joy that comes when we awaken from the confounding illusion of separateness.  We are unique, wonderfully diverse, beings. And we are one… Unitas Multiplex.

World Premiere in 2020 – Invitation for Support

Steve is intending for the World Premiere of this piece to be in 2020.  He has nearly finished it (it will be around 1 hour 25 minutes in total; though individual movements can be performed separately).

If you are excited about this pioneering Integral music, and would like to play a part in a little piece of history, by supporting Steve in seeing Unitas Multiplex through to its World Premiere, please email Steve (steve@stevebanks.info), and he will keep you posted on ways you can be involved (from the small – simply saying you support the project, or offering a small donation is a big help  – to the more substantial – becoming a Patron of the World Premiere, or a partner organisation). Click here for more about support and funding.

Listen to Unitas Multiplex, and read more about it

Below are mp3’s of eight movements, synthesised renditions, with some vocal parts added as guides. Scroll down further for PDF’s with the lyrics, more detailed background about the piece, and draft vocal scores.

Evolution 5 maps 13.8 billion years of evolution onto 5 minutes of music. The choir comes in on the last semi-quaver of the last bar, representing the approximately 1 million years of humanity’s existence. The piece is intended as a kind of meditation: you are invited to focus your awareness on the understanding that the entirety of evolution is enfolded within you; that, although in one sense your age dates from your emergence from your mother’s womb, in another, real, sense, you are the same age as the universe.

Anamnesis (‘unforgetting’). A setting of text by Ken Wilber, with additions by Steve, from the section ‘Anamnesis’ in Wilber’s book ‘One Taste‘. This 20 minute movement represents the levels of consciousness from the primitive, pre-rational, through rational to the trans-rational, including ‘Integral’ and beyond, to ‘causal’ and ‘one taste’.

Blue Pearl. A song where the earth is ‘speaking’ to humankind. The song affirms that humans are one with the earth, breaking down (illusory) subject-object duality.

Holons. 12 vocal parts in a ‘catch’ represent the building up of the holarchy: quarks, atoms, molecules, cells, tissue systems, holistic body systems, human being, family, village, town, city, nation state, international system of states, the earth, the solar system, the Kosmos. Each new level in the holarchy enters in turn, transcending and including all the previous ones.

"Yab Yum 1" by Integral artist, Jenny Baird

“Yab Yum 1” by Integral artist, Jenny  Baird, www.jenniferbairdartist.com

Sex. In a spiritual work… !? How can that be?! Spirituality has for far, far too long involved a denial of the body and sexuality. That casts a great shadow, the painful results of which we see all over the modern world. But an integral spiritual path *embraces* sex. At the heart of the integral model is ‘transcend and include’. Spirituality has been all about transcending. Now it is time to transcend and include. So this movement of the oratorio joyously celebrates sex. Using the Spectrum Of Consciousness model (as portrayed in ‘Anamnesis’), Sex can be approached with the Eye of Flesh – physical pleasure, the Eye of the Heart – an act of love, and the Eye of Spirit – a gateway to the divine.

Death.  Death is a given.  Like sex, it is taboo in modern culture. Consciously embracing the reality of death is a cornerstone of a spiritual life.  We have a choice: whether to close our heart to the pain death and bereavement brings, to attempt to fortify ourselves against that pain; or to let our heart break – break open.  To close our heart to the pain is to close our heart to real joy as well. With an open heart, all emotions are free to flow; they arise, and they pass; we are not stuck. And then, also, at a more profound level, we can open to the experience of the Deathless… that which lives in Eternity, which is to say, not in time and therefore is never born and never dies (and from which we never, for a moment, depart, except in illusion).

The Potter.  A song of celebration that will end the oratorio. A prayer that we may be all we can be, and be of service to the greater good.

Be Still. A song inviting a meditative state.

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There are PDF’s of draft vocal scores below. And there are PDF text documents:

  • Lyrics
  • Background to the piece (for someone who has not come across Ken Wilber and the Integral Model before)
  • Background to the piece for someone with knowledge of the Integral Model

If you have any problems accessing any of these, please email Steve, steve ‘at’ stevebanks.info.

*** NB: THESE RECORDINGS, SCORES AND TEXT DOCUMENTS ARE ALL SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT. DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE THEM IN ANY WAY. ***

mp3 files

Evolution 5 (5 minutes):

Anamnesis (19 minutes. Anamnesis follows straight on from Evolution 5. Has some bass vocals to help follow vocal score):

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Blue Pearl (6 minutes, 13 seconds. With Steve singing):

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Holons (3 minutes, 53 seconds. Vocals at start only):

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Sex (6 minutes. No vocals recorded yet.)

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Death (5 minutes. No vocals recorded yet.)

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Be Still (4 minutes, 19 seconds. Recording has Steve singing).

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The Potter (3.5 minutes. Recording has Steve singing most of it.)

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Vocal scores

Clicking on the PDF links below will open them in a new tab. You might want to download the PDF files. To do this, right click on the link text, then left click on “Save Link As…”

‘Part II’, which includes: Evolution 5; Anamnesis; Be Still; The Potter : UM PART II v1f8h 20.11.18 SPR COMPLETE – Vocal Score

HolonsHolons v1p2 4.12.18 SPR – Vocal Score

Sex: UM Sex v1i2 22.11.18 SPR – Vocal Score

Death :  Death – v2k1 22.11.18 SPR – Vocal Score

Blue Pearl : Blue Pearl UM – v1h1 20.11.18 SPR – Vocal Score

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Text documents

LyricsUnitas Multiplex – Lyrics – 28.11.18

Background to the piece (if you are not familiar with the Integral Model): UM – About the piece, for non-integral listener D 28.11.18

Background to the piece (if you are familiar with the Integral Model): UM – About the piece, for integral listener D 28.11.18