Chorus consists of fourteen five-meter tall tripods with rotating arms. These structures have been designed to create an immersive sound experience capable of transforming urban or rural environments. The work has been designed to function in outdoor locations in all weather conditions. The Chorus machines were designed by Ray Lee with assistance from Charlie Camm and built by Charlie Camm of Scenetec Ltd.
In Chorus each of the tripods emits discrete tones from the loudspeakers situated on the end of the arms. The full fourteen tripod version allows twenty-eight discrete tracks to employed.
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.
The sounds for Chorus were produced using Adobe Audition. Saw tooth wave tones were created at specific pitches. The tones were then saved as WAV’s.
The Chorus machines are 4.5m to 5.5m tall aluminium tripods with motorised, rotating arms. The audio signal is transferred to the rotating speakers via slip ring technology. The sound is replayed through WAV players and amplified by battery powered 30 watt mono amplifiers generating a sufficiently high volume to create an impact in noisy urban environments. The tripods are all self-contained and powered by high capacity leisure batteries. Chorus has been designed to be a weatherproof touring performance installation for outdoor spaces and virtually all weather conditions.
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:
- Lakes Alive Festival, Kendal Castle, UK
- Dimanche de la Canebière, Marseilles
- 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