Museum of Art exhibit more than meets the ears

Posted on: March 10th, 2016

By Kevin Lee   |   Lagniappe

I knew about the accolades but still had doubts. One sonic stroll gratefully dispelled them.

Janet Cardiff’s 2001 installation “The Forty-Part Motet” is her most acclaimed work to date. The Canadian artist specializes in a sculptural approach she tagged “sound walks.”

After listening to a CD of Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis’ 16th-century composition “Spem in Alium,” Cardiff had an epiphany: If the average listener could move through the 40-voice choir, their experience would alter completely.

She recorded a performance by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, substituting children for the women’s soprano lines. During the session, each voice was recorded separately into individual high-quality microphones.

The result has spellbound listeners at every appearance. It found a permanent home in Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Brazil’s Inhotim.

It’s common for those who engage it to be overwhelmed to tears. That very reaction by a curator from the Mobile Museum of Art prompted his eagerness to bring it to Mobile. See full article>>