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HOME > INSTALLATIONS > THE FORTY PART MOTET
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<< The Forty Part Motet | Rideau Chapel National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 1/ 11 >>
 
The Forty Part Motet (A reworking of “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis 1573)

Forty separately recorded voices are played back through forty speakers strategically placed throughout the space.

Comments by the artist:
"While listening to a concert you are normally seated in front of the choir, in traditional audience position. With this piece I want the audience to be able to experience a piece of music from the viewpoint of the singers. Every performer hears a unique mix of the piece of music. Enabling the audience to move throughout the space allows them to be intimately connected with the voices. It also reveals the piece of music as a changing construct. As well I am interested in how sound may physically construct a space in a sculptural way and how a viewer may choose a path through this physical yet virtual space.

I placed the speakers around the room in an oval so that the listener would be able to really feel the sculptural construction of the piece by Tallis. You can hear the sound move from one choir to another, jumping back and forth, echoing each other and then experience the overwhelming feeling as the sound waves hit you when all of the singers are singing.
 
Related Press Articles
Forty Harmonius Voices Drown Out Your Woes: Cardiff at MoMA. By Carley Berwick, Bloomberg.com. 10.01.06. (PDF 20Kb)
 
Credits:
Sung by: Salisbury Cathedral Choir
Recording and Postproduction by: SoundMoves
Edited by George Bures Miller
Produced by Field Art Projects
 
 
VIDEO CLIP
JANET CARDIFF

Materials: 40 loud speakers mounted on stands, placed in an oval, amplifiers, playback computer

Duration: 14 min. loop with 11 min. of music and 3 min. of intermission