Sommerszene 2021

Janet Cardiff (CAN)

The Forty Part Motet

  • SZENE Salzburg
©Markus Trettner
©Markus Trettner

In her internationally acclaimed project The Forty Part Motet, the Canadian artist Janet Cardiff has created a poetic sound installation. Sommerszene presents this listening experience in the sacred space of the Kollegienkirche.
The basis of the work is provided by a forty-part choral piece that is played from forty loudspeakers arranged in a circle. Janet Cardiff recorded each of the vocal parts in the motet Spem in Alium by the 16th century English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis individually and then arranged the speakers within the space so that visitors are able to move in between the individual voices, approaching them and then moving away again and in doing so experiencing this complex, multi-layered choral work in an extremely direct way. The result is a virtual architectural soundscape that thrills and emotionally overpowers audiences.
14 minutes loop

Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff was originally produced by Field Art Projects with the Arts Council of England, the Salisbury Festival, BALTIC Gateshead, The New Art Gallery Walsall, and the NOW Festival Nottingham.
Sung by Salisbury Cathedral Choir
Recording and Postproduction by SoundMoves
Edited by George Bures Miller
Produced by Field Art Projects


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