Nite Jewel is a professor now. The last time we heard from the bedroom-pop vibe-manipulator Ramona Gonzalez was nearly two years ago, when she released a two-song single that featured the tracks “On Your Own” and “The Jokes On You.” These days, Gonzalez is studying for her PhD in musicology at UCLA, and she’s also teaching an undergraduate songwriting class at Occidental College. (Earlier this year, she hosted a lecture series that featured peers like Ariel Pink and Julia Holter.) Today, Gonzalez has released a new piece of music that shows her studies at work.
The new Nite Jewel track “Puisque Bele Dame M’eime” isn’t actually new at all. It’s a version of a medieval song that dates back to the 13th century. Gonzalez transcribed it as part of her doctoral work, and she recorded her version on an iPad, with the film composer Jay Israelson accompanying her on piano. It’s amazing that Gonzalez can make a centuries-old piece of music into an affecting lo-fi dirge. Here’s what she writes about it on her Bandcamp page:
Last year as a part of my PhD program, I transcribed a 13th century motet from the Montpellier Codex entitled “Puisque bele dame m’eime/Flos Filius Eius.” This is my reharmonization and reinterpretation of the medieval song with Jay Israelson on piano recorded live together on an iPad :) The contemporary recording from which I drew the translation in the liner notes is the album “Love’s Illusion – Music from the Montpellier Codex” released in 1994. I highly recommend it! I hope you enjoy my version and are staying safe in this crazy times <3
Listen to it below.
“Puisque Bele Dame M’eime” is out now at Bandcamp.