The Music The Cantigas de Santa Maria form one of the great monuments of medieval music. Collected under the direction of Alfonso X (1221-1284), King of Castile and Leon, the Cantigas reflect both the influences of the French troubadours and the dynamic cultural and intellectual environment of the Spanish aristocratic court. The collection of over 400 songs is preserved in four manuscripts. Written in the Galician language, there are cantigas relating the miracles of the Virgin Mary, songs of pilgrimage, and folk parables. We have chosen to play some of these songs as purely instrumental melodies, while others include the words. The 13th century Cantigas de amigo of martin Codax constitute the first real song cycle we have, there being both textual and musical material shared among the songs. The Cantigas are also our oldest surviving example of Galician-Portuguese secular music. The poems exist in two manuscripts without music. A third manuscript with music was discovered in 1914 in the binding of a 16th century book owned by a Madrid bookseller, Pedro Vindel. The conductus Fontis in rivulum is from the Cisterian convent Las Huelgas. The late 13th century Codex contains 186 pieces in a wide variety of styles. The Performers Sonus is: James Carrier: recorders, shawms, harp, saz, percussion Hazel Ketchum: voice, saz, chitarra, percussion John Holenko: oud, saz Geoff Cormier: percussion The Sonus ensemble was formed in 1988 by James Carrier to perform the secular music of the Middle Ages. Sonus has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, at the Tage Alter Musik festival in Regensburg, Germany, as well as throughout the US. Sonus has recorded three CD's of Medeival music and had editions published by Mel Bay Publications. The German publication Alte Musik Aktuell called the groups sound "lively music making at it's best...mature, accomplished." CD Review gave Sonus' debut recording, Songs and Dances of the Middle Ages, a four star performance rating, citing the "pleasing natural soprano of Hazel Ketchum" and their "fetchingly unaffected delivery." Guitar Player magazine called their second CD, Chanterai: Music of Medieval France", a "ravishing collectionthat will delight both early music connoisseurs and open minded acoustic music fans."