Ahead of its performance in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral next month, our upper-voices chamber choir, Minerva Voices, will fill the resonant acoustic of Studio 3 Gallery on the University’s Canterbury campus with music ranging from across the centuries.
From Hildegard von Bingen, through works by Brahms, Gounod and Alvin Lucier to contemporary pieces by Russell Hepplewhite and Sarah Quartel, the half-hour programme will ring round the art gallery in an immersive sonic treat for the audience.
The performance is on Weds 1 June at 1.10pm in the gallery in the Jarman Building; join the choir for an evocative celebration of sacred and secular song.
One of the smallest ensembles this year, the eight-voice Lost Consort has been quietly working away on ancient repertoire over the past couple of terms in preparation for two unique performances.
The group has been focusing on plainsong, including the luminous Kyrie by Hildegard von Bingen, in a sequence of music combined with Renaissance polyphony by William Byrd, exploring the remarkable contrast that occurs when a piece of plainchant suddenly blossoms into a four-part motet.
Yesterday, the group (or most of them, anyway…) met to rehearse in the sonorous acoustics of Studio 3 Gallery, the University’s art gallery in the Jarman Building, where unfurling Ave maris stella and Victimae paschali laudes into the richly resonant space was a breathtaking experience; the pacing of these whorling lines needs different considerations when compared to the way we’ve been pacing them in rehearsals in the concert-hall. And Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus bloomed into a hugely expressive, lachrymaic ode in Studio 3, taking on both an emotional grandeur and contrastingly a greater sense of intimacy (six voices raised in such an echoing space) at the same time.
We’re preparing the sequence to perform amidst a sonic backdrop of a forest soundscape – and no, not just to play on Byrd/bird song… – which we were experimenting with yesterday, which created a wonderful sense of space, and which we are performing on Tuesday 3 April at 1.10pm; the change from musical colours to the natural sounds of birdsong leads the listener to a completely different place. And later, in June, the group will present the programme in the historic Undercroft of the 12-century Eastbridge Pilgrim’s Hospital in the heart of Canterbury as part of Summer Music Week.
If yesterday’s rehearsal was anything to go by, the two events promise to be revelatory; come and experience time-out-of-time for yourself on Tuesday 3 April…
The department’s newest (or oldest, depending on how you look at it) ensemble, the Lost Consort, made its debut yesterday in a lunchtime concert in the evocative Roman Undercroft of St Thomas’ Hospital, Canterbury.
Formed by Your Loyal Correspondent back in November in order to explore the music of Hildegard von Bingen, the group gave its first performance to a packed audience, with a programme including an evocative setting of the Kyrie and the luminous Columba Aspexit.
After the concert, the Choir moved out onto the high street in order to sing to one of the members of the audience who was unable to come into the Undercroft because of their wheelchair. Members of the public drew to a standstill to listen to a twelfth-century flashmob bringing medieval music to the ancient stones of the city.
Welcome to the newest, oldest, departmental ensemble; expect to hear more from the Lost Consort in the future.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.