"The Voice of Angels in my computer" - Jean-François P. (Neumz User)
The world’s largest and most ambitious recording project ever commenced in 2019 in collaboration with the Sisters of Notre-Dame de Fidélité in Jouques, France. Easter 2022 marked the completion of that effort. The result is Neumz, an app that presents the complete Gregorian chants of the three-year cycle of the Novus Ordo. Neumz is the only digital resource combining all the materials necessary to follow the entire liturgy of the Roman Rite as a 21st-century “Liber Digitalis”. Neumz helps people enrich their prayer lives and structure their days according to this millenary tradition and allows them to learn about the wealth of Roman Catholic tradition by offering a global overview of its complete liturgy. The simple, ancient melodies of Gregorian chant are a healing music that touches the heart and soul and are useful to religious and non-religious alike for meditation, relaxation, and true mindfulness.
Neumz presents these recordings via web and mobile applications for iOS and Android, allowing users to take the complete liturgy with them in their pockets. Neumz makes the Gregorian chants accessible by providing the square-note scores, Latin texts, and localised translations synchronised with the recorded audio, available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The liturgy is presented through a user-friendly solar calendar, removing all of the complexities of the hierarchy of feasts and the intersection between Sanctoral and Temporal calendars, allowing users to immerse themselves immediately in its beauty. Advanced features include search functions and optional St Gall and Laon style neumatic notations for the scores.
During the summer of 2023, Neumz will begin integrating recordings of the Vetus Ordo (the “Tridentine Rite”) as celebrated by the monks of Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux. These recordings are possible thanks to Neumz's participation in the “Repertorium” project. This was the top-ranked 2023 European Commission Horizon Research and Innovation project and was awarded a 3 million euro grant to develop AI tools for, among other things, digitising, studying, and diffusing European cultural heritage. In addition to the approximately 2200 hours of additional Vetus Ordo recordings to be added to the app, the team behind Neumz was entrusted with the digitisation of the complete Solesmes archive of manuscripts for Oxford’s DIAMM. This entails scanning approximately 400.000 pages of manuscripts and cataloguing approximately 2 million chants, aided by an AI that the Neumz team will train. 4000 novel chants are expected to be discovered during the course of this process, a selection of which will be publicly performed for the first time in over a millennium and recorded for inclusion in Neumz.
The Neumz Novus Ordo database already contains approximately 10,000 unique chants, including more than 600 never-before-recorded melodies. A total of 34 terabytes of audio material were recorded, approximately 6,600 hours of recordings, spliced, tagged, mixed, mastered, and added to each chant component, together with translations of the Latin texts in five languages synchronised to the square-note scores.
As of Q1 2023, 26,000 users have joined the Neumz community since the project was first announced in Holy Week of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic restrictions. Since then, Neumz has continued to serve as a prayer aid for those unable to attend services and in the daily spiritual lives of its on-the-go users.
Neumz offers a beautiful user interface, offline listening, and customisable notifications allowing users never to miss an office. The app allows downloading individual chants, entire offices, or liturgical days for offline listening. Info buttons have been added to selected chants allowing users to learn about the chant's historical, liturgical, spiritual, and musical significance within the app. Toggling on Bells notifies users of the beginning of each office. The "History" tab allows users to view the chronology of recently listened-to chants.
Neumz is available as a free app in “radio mode”, allowing users to follow the entire liturgy in real-time, and as a paid subscription that unlocks play-on-demand and other pro features. Two-thirds of revenues from subscriptions go to support the Sisters in Jouques, their foundations in Rosans (France) and Natitingou (Benin), and the monks of Le Barroux.
Neumz is a project of ODRATEK BV. ODRATEK is dedicated to promoting and sustaining cultural heritage with apps and software designed to serve humanity. It is the digital arm of the non-profit, peer-reviewed record label Odradek Records. Repertorium received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement N. 101095065.