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Forty-Channel Surround! Janet Cardif's "The Forty Part Motet" in Atlanta

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blue.monk

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Yes, 40 discrete channels! I just experienced this marvelous work at the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta. The music is 16th-century composer Thomas Tallis’ “Spem in Alium” which is a dense choral piece arranged for 40 individual voices. Cardiff recorded the performance with a mic on each individual so that each speaker produces the sound of just a single voice (except for the boy soprano parts which contain 2 unison voices). The speakers are configured to match the arrangement - 8 groups each consisting of 5 voices. The sound when positioned in the center is magnificent as various groups enter and rest throughout culminating in the 40-part finale. But the real joy is wandering amongst the speakers and being able to hear the unique qualities of the individual groups and singers. A magnificent and unique experience. Check out the links below (particularly the audio) for more.

Cardiff-HMA-IMG_7795-e1412972179932.jpg

Here's an excellent audio feature (Studio 360) on the exhibit:

http://www.studio360.org/story/janet-cardiffs-40-part-motet/

And an article on its current Atlanta location:

http://www.artsatl.com/2014/10/janet-cardiff-the-forty-part-motet-high-museum/
 

Scott M4

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I was able to experience this in Toronto and it's magnificent. Like you pointed out, wandering amongst the speakers is a treat.

Waiting for the next playback to start, Cardiff has included the chatter of the singers and throat clearing which is fun to listen in on. :)
 

Snood

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Un freaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaking real Awesome - do they have a full bar there too?? Snood would be there!!!! :51banana:
 

blue.monk

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Waiting for the next playback to start, Cardiff has included the chatter of the singers and throat clearing which is fun to listen in on. :)
Yes it is! You can hear some joking around, reviewing of parts, gossip. Fun stuff. There's a few examples in the Studio 360 audio clip above.
 

Scott M4

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Ahhhh, so you're applying the "why listen to anything but stereo when you only have two ears?" argument to larger scale works. The brain decodes the sounds of life all around us all day, every day. I like quad for my living room but an installation like this is a special experience. You'll dig it if you get the chance - bar or no bar. :)
 

blue.monk

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I gotta believe that's way too much for any brain to decode. Unless Snood is right and there's a bar then who cares?
Nah, you'd process it the same as you would being surrounded by 40 singers. One voice per speaker. The composition and methodology were chosen very carefully. And the results are stunning.
 

leevitalone1

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Nah, you'd process it the same as you would being surrounded by 40 singers. One voice per speaker. The composition and methodology were chosen very carefully. And the results are stunning.
Sorry, I'm referring to "my" brain, that only works when it really needs to-not too often.:mad:@:
 

hobie1dog

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I just watched this video on the history of this piece of music

I would have thought that someone would have recorded it in Quad?
I found this old post by "transmaster" who only has this one post:

"I found this site because I have some of the old QS Matrix records but the system I used to play them on is long gone. I was wondering if there was software that would let my computer decode them. Found a thread here from back in 2008 addressing that very topic. I presently listen the the Thomas Tallis Scholars in 5.1 surround from the Gimell label, which is nothing less then magical"

I went to the Gimell site and found the recording their own singers did but there's no mention of anything multi-channel.
 
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Kal Rubinson

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I have 5 recordings of this piece in multichannel but not the Tallis Scholars. I do have a copy of the Voices of Hagia Sofia in 40 channels. :)
 
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