Forty Part Motet
Janet Cardiff’s acclaimed sound installation Forty Part Motet (2001) is presented at Richmond Chapel in Penzance, a former Wesleyan Chapel and Grade II listed building.
Members of Salisbury Cathedral Choir are recorded singing an arrangement of the 1556 choral work Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui by Thomas Tallis. Forty separately recorded voices are played back through forty speakers. The speakers are configured in eight separate choirs, each consisting of five voices – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone and Bass.
The speakers are arranged in an oval in the centre of the chapel, enabling visitors to move around between them and feel the sculptural construction of Tallis’ composition.
‘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’ Janet Cardiff.
Originally produced in 2001 by Field Art Projects, Forty Part Motet has been exhibited internationally. This exhibition is presented for Groundwork by Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange courtesy Cardiff Miller Studio.