Current State host Mark Bashore talks with two of the artists who worked on the project. Philip Rice is a student in composition at MSU, and Cindy Hunter Morgan is a local poet and lecturer in the English department. See the full story and listen to the broadcast here.
Music review from
From Scandinavian sound artist Leif Inge comes a transcendent soundscape made out of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. By stretching the recording to 24 hours with no distortion or pitch shifting (achieved through high-quality granulation), the piece is fundamentally changed from a goal-oriented tonal work with a dramatic narrative to a slowly-evolving sonic environment more closely resembling micropolyphonic works of Ligeti or post-minimalist pieces by John Luther Adams and R. Murray Schafer.
The source recording is from Naxos, conducted by Béla Drahos with the Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia and Chorus. The work can be heard streaming 24-hours a day—click here to download the internet radio station link (open in iTunes or VLC Media Player).
NPR: New music from “My Brightest Diamond”
“Worden’s music feels simultaneously micro-orchestrated and entirely, ecstatically spontaneous. She has in common with former bandmate Sufjan Stevens an exceptional knack for world-building, as well as an ability to cultivate intimacy through flawless, complex production with a beating heart. This Is My Hand is a paean to the work of human hands, in the same way 2011’s All Things Will Unwind celebrates beauty born of human struggle.”
Read the whole article at npr.org
Our new album, Statements, featuring all music of MSU composers, is now available online and in print. The first run of 1,000 copies is circulating among members of the studio, and can be obtained free of charge. Special thanks to Mark Sullivan for the photographs, Philip Rice for the jacket design, and Justin Rito for heading up the whole operation. The full album can be heard online and downloaded for free via Bandcamp.
The Met Museum: Janet Cardiff’s “Forty Part Motet”
The Forty Part Motet (2001), a sound installation by Janet Cardiff (Canadian, born 1957), was the first presentation of contemporary art at The Cloisters. Regarded as the artist’s masterwork, and consisting of forty high-fidelity speakers positioned on stands in a large oval configuration throughout the Fuentidueña Chapel, the fourteen-minute work, with a three-minute spoken interlude, continuously played an eleven-minute reworking of the forty-part motet Spem in alium numquam habui (1556?/1573?) by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505–1585). Spem in alium, which translates as “In No Other Is My Hope,” is perhaps Tallis’s most famous composition. Visitors were encouraged to walk among the loudspeakers and hear the individual unaccompanied voices—bass, baritone, alto, tenor, and child soprano—one part per speaker—as well as the polyphonic choral effect of the combined singers in an immersive experience. The Forty Part Motet is most often presented in a neutral gallery setting, but in this case the setting was the Cloisters’ Fuentidueña Chapel, which features the late twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martín at Fuentidueña, near Segovia, Spain, on permanent loan from the Spanish Government. Set within a churchlike gallery space, and with superb acoustics, it has for more than fifty years proved a fine venue for concerts of early music.
Of the work, Cardiff says,
“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.”