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June 17, 2004

Toronto Eye Weekly

To describe Janet Cardiff's crowd-pleasing, Millennium Prize-winning "Forty-Part Motet" as a religious experience is redundant: the sound sculpture consists of 40 speakers, each playing 40 separately recorded voices singing Thomas Tallis' "Spem in Alium," a complex 16th-century polyphonic choral piece written, of course, in praise of The Almighty Himself. But Cardiff enlarges the adulatory qualities of Tallis' work, giving special credence to his and the Salisbury Cathedral Choir's beautiful creation by having gallery-goers navigate around the speakers so that the harmonies modulate and rebound in intimate, varied and deliciously sinuous ways. The result is so sublime, so all-encompassing that it may be the closest you'll ever come to seeing, touching, smelling and tasting sound.

Posted by acapnews at June 17, 2004 10:25 PM


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