Tuesday 24 March 2009, 6:30pm
In recent years, the computer as an instrument has challenged the distinct presence of the human voice and the sound and scope of traditional musical instruments. The coincidence of live and pre-recorded sound, its visualization, manipulation and dissemination in space is raising new questions about how music is made, performed and heard.
The performance event in this first series of Chambers presents a diverse programme of traditional and experimental repertoire that illustrates this transition. It marks the first public performance by the ensemble of the ASD Choir, premieres of new works and solo performances by Marc Behrens, Helena Gough, Joseph Kohlmaier and Racheal Perrin.
Performances by the ASD Choir
The ASD Choir formed in November 2008, bringing together a group of students and professionals who share an enthusiasm for experiment and singing and an interest in music, sound and architecture. The choir, conducted by Cathy Heller-Jones will perform works by Steve Reich, William Cornyshe, Meredith Monk, Johannes Brahms, John Tavener and Veljo Tormis, transversing six centuries of musical styles and approaches to choral composition.
Marc Behrens: Rabies
Rabies, a composition for voices and electronics, was commissioned by the ASD Choir for the first series of Chambers. For Behrens, who has been concentrating his career as a composer on working with field recordings and electronics, it is the first work for traditional instrumentalists and musicians in 15 years.
A four-channel arrangement of electronic sounds generated from close-up recordings of the mouth will be the base for this piece. The singers will be divided into four groups in different places in the performance space and will partly interfere, partly blend their voices with the electronic arrangement. The electronics are not based on a timeline and both main elements, singers and electronics, work with a conceptual score and set of rules. Rabies is performed by Marc Behrens and members of the ASD Choir.
Listen to a recording of the performance
Joseph Kohlmaier, Paul Emery and Rachael Perrin: Anima
Anima is an improvisation piece in four movements for bass clarinet and live visualization. It is based on an animation model which responds directly to the sound generated by the performer, translating music into movement; but the animation is unpredictable and operates on both fixed and random parameters, forcing the performer to react to the visualization in turn. Anima is based on a concept by Joseph Kohlmaier and was developed in collaboration with film maker and video artist Paul Emery for Chambers.
Helena Gough – solo performance
Helena Gough is an English sound artist based in Berlin. Initially trained in violin and composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Academy, Helena went on to complete a BMus at Birmingham University. Her work involves the collection and manipulation of ‘real-world’ sound material and the exploration of its abstract properties. Each new sound piece is created by taking everything possible from the tiniest element – working to create something from nearly nothing. Her live sets are intended for dark spaces and involve recombining and improvising with her sound materials in order to create a unique environment for each new performance.
“The germinations of Gough’s complex connections of decomposed frequencies and impenetrable permanences produce superb aural emulsions of otherwise extraneous substances, keeping us suspended between a surgical reviviscence of our secret fears and a special kind of ecstatic indecision…”
Read more about Helena Gough.