Janet Cardiff – The Forty Part Motet

2 Jul

World-renowned sound artist Janet Cardiff created this sound installation based on Spem in Alium by the English composer Thomas Tallis. Written for a forty-voice choir in 1573, Spem in Alium is one of the most intricate and beautiful compositions of the English Renaissance. In Cardiff’s installation, eight groups of five speakers arranged in a large oval allow visitors to experience the choral composition from the vantage of individual performers.

Cardiff received the Millennium Prize in 2001 for international excellence in contemporary art from the National Gallery of Canada, and Artforum magazine featured the work in the “Best of 2003” issue. Editions of the Forty Part Motet are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and it is a promised gift from the Pamela and Richard Kramlich collection to the Tate, London. This exhibition will be Cardiff’s first solo exhibition in the Pacific Northwest.

Tacoma Art Museum
June 28–September 7, 2008

— Related Programming —

Second Tuesdays: The Musical History of Renaissance Composer Thomas Tallis
Tuesday, July 8
10:30 am

Douglas Fullington, Director of the Tudor Choir in Seattle, discusses the historical context of Thomas Tallis’s sixteenth-century forty-voice musical composition featured in Janet Cardiff’s sound installation.

Seattle’s Tudor Choir Performs Works by Renaissance Composer Thomas Tallis
Saturday, July 12
6:30 – 7:30 pm

Enjoy a spectacular musical survey of choral works by Thomas Tallis, composer of Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui, which is featured in The Forty Part Motet, by Janet Cardiff. Tallis was the only sixteenth century English composer to have worked under four monarchs—Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I—during decades of political and religious upheaval. The Tudor Choir is a professional a cappella ensemble that has been acclaimed by The New York Times and Gramophone magazine. Tickets are $5 for members; $12 for non members (includes museum admission and members’ opening reception to follow). Seating is limited. For advance tickets, call 253.272.4258 or e-mail programs@TacomaArtMuseum.org. NOTE: Late arrivals will be seated as concert breaks allow.

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