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Monday, October 15, 2007

Janet Cardiff at TAM

posted by on October 15 at 10:33 AM

I just heard from curator Rock Hushka that Janet Cardiff’s installation Forty Part Motet is coming to Tacoma Art Museum next summer. (Dates are still being set.)

The piece is 40 black speakers standing around a room. (The room has ranged from the austere white cube of the Museum of Modern Art to ornate churches.)

In each speaker is a recording of a single voice singing a part of Thomas Tallis’s Spem in Alium. Tallis, a Catholic, delicately wrote the piece—devoted to humility—to commemorate the 40th birthday of Queen Elizabeth in 1575. (For a delightfully bad film on the subject of Elizabeth’s nascent midlife crisis see this.)

Cardiff, a Canadian-born, Berlin-based artist known for her audio tours, made Forty Party Motet in order to set the listener inside the music, a sensation that can’t be delivered via video. But click below for an elementary idea of what the room is like:

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The Talis Scholars have a beautiful version of this recorded - definitely worth hunting down a copy.

Posted by Rebekah | October 15, 2007 11:38 AM

Pete Townshend devised a system where he hooked up 16 speakers, arranged in a room as a small string ensemble would be, for his keyboard set-up, thereby recreating the sense of an actual "section" in the room.

This was in 1983.

You seem to be one of the most pretentious fools I've ever seen in my life. But the fact that very few seem to ever comment on your posts cheers me no end.

Posted by Wowza | October 15, 2007 6:53 PM

This is fantastic news...I was wondering when Cardiff was going to make it out our way. Good for TAM.

Posted by Carolyn | October 16, 2007 6:53 PM

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