Each Adiemus album is a collection of song-length pieces featuring harmonised vocal melody against an orchestral background. There are no lyrics as such: instead the vocalists sing syllables and 'words' invented by Jenkins. However, rather than creating musical interest from patterns of phonemes (as in scat singing, or in numerous classical and crossover compositions), the language of Adiemus is carefully stylised so as not to distract the listener's attention from the pitch and timbre of the voiceΓ??for example, as in African languages, syllables ending in consonants are rare. The core concept of Adiemus is that the voice should be allowed to function as nothing more than an instrument, an approach that has become something of a trend in recent choral writing (compare, for example Vangelis's score for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)). The word Adiemus itself resembles a Latin word meaning 'We will draw near', though incorrectly formed; Jenkins claims to have been unaware of this.
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