Chorus is a composition for a monumental installation of kinetic sound sculptures.
Towering above the audience a series of giant metal tripods support rotating arms. At the end of each arm loudspeakers emit precisely tuned musical pitches creating a pulsating, harmonic drone, singing out a hypnotic siren call to all those present. Red lights at the end of the arms create the effect of a whirling swarm of fireflies, or of planets in motion, like mesmerising orbits of colour. These intersecting lights trace rings above the heads of the audience, while the combined chorus of the spinning speakers creates a cohesive harmonious whole, ‘a sticky flux’, that is both uplifting and transfixing.
Chorus aims to bring a contemporary music and visual art spectacle to a very wide audience. By locating the work outdoors and on a monumental scale Chorus is able to be experienced by large numbers of people and has the ability to attract people to the work who may have been ‘just passing by’.
Chorus was shortlisted for the 2014 BASCA British Composer of the Year award for sonic art.
Chorus consists of a composed sequence of tones pitched from the Aeolian mode in concert A440. Over the period of the twenty to thirty minute composition (depending on the context) the twenty-eight discrete parts go through a series of changes in pitch allowing the work to develop from a series of pulses to held drones in various combinations of intervals to a resolution around the tonic.
Touring and restaging:
- Brief Encounter, Preston UK
- Lakes Alive Festival, Kendal Castle, UK
- Dimanche de la Canebière, Marseilles, France
- Cheriton Lights, Folkestone, Kent, UK
- Hong Kong International Arts Festival
- Georgetown Festival , Penang, Malaysia
- Connected Cities and World Culture Forum, Seoul, South Korea
- The Albany, Deptford (Circulate London Tour)
- Stratford Circus, London (Circulate London Tour)
- Millfield Theatre (Circulate London Tour)
- Bell Square, London (Circulate London Tour)
Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival, London
ZAT, Montpelier France
Freedom Festival, Hull
Inside Out Festival, Dorset
New Scientist Live, Excel Arena, London
White Night Melbourne, Australia
Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania
Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music
In Time Festival, Coventry
Future City, Salford
Milton Keynes International Festival
WOMAD, Charlton Park. UK
National Theatre Outdoors
Audiograft Oxford (scratch version)
Town Square Newbury for Corn Exchange Newbury (premiere)
Place de l’Opera, Lieux Public, Marseilles
Winchester Hat Fair
Bournemouth Arts Festival
Constellation Festival Reading
Festival of Light, Huddersfield
2012 Oxford Castle (scratch version)
Chorus was commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music, and Newbury Corn Exchange in the UK. It was supported by the Sonic Arts Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University and the Arts Council of England.
Tripod fabrication: Charlie Camm, Scenetec Ltd.
Produced by Simon Chatterton
Technicians: Martin West, Andy Reader, Edward Collins, Graham Elstone, Christian Weaver, Tony James, Rob Lee, Stavroula Kounadea