Sunday, April 26, 2009

Choral Descent

Hello again!

As you all might know, my final project for my electromusic course integrated something very close to my heart....choral sounds! In an earlier entry I blogged about my project progress and some of my ideas going into it. What I came to realize though is that the story in my mind during the initial stages could potentially box listeners in when they came to hear it.

Thus, when I had to give a small blurb about my piece before I played it, I just described it as a attempt to fuse sacred and secular choral pieces together. Often, you have to choose one or the other in choral music and there are few songs that integrate both. A piece is either sacred or it is secular. However, I wanted to expand how people listen to choral music so I tried not to subscribe to stereotyped perceptions of choir music. As well, I wanted to create a piece a regular choir wouldn't be able to sing unless they were in some kind of strange double choir formation where one half of the choir was singing sacred music and the other half would be singing secular. These different genres require different technique and mentalities so it would be extremely challenging to have a chorister do both at the same time. However, it's not impossible...

Overall, the piece just experiments with how these genres can be incorporated together to make something chorally unique. I think one of the things I like most is the end where there is an ascending vocal track. It is something I could hear an actual choir singing but there is a unique quality to it since it's actually a reversed track of the beginning of a Hungarian song called Magosh a Rutafa. Thus, it sounds melodic and something a choir could sing but a choir would never actually be able to recreate that sound. A little bit of my experimental electromusic nature creeping in there.

The song is entitled "Choral Descent" since choir music, whether it descends from a heavenly angel chorus or from cow callers in the hills, still arrives at the same share music with others.

Anyway, give it a listen and tell me what you think! The audience members sitting next to during the recital were kind of snickering to themselves (in a good way I think) since I suppose it sounded funny to infuse abstract choral sounds with Ave Maria choruses. Maybe there is some comedic element to my piece that I did not anticipate? In addition, I know a lot of my fellow choir friends will recognize the tracks I used and maybe can even hear their own voices :)


Lesley said...

That is so cool! It's really neat to hear all those songs fused together like that!

Matthew said...


It really gave the song a center to experiment around.

Dawn said...

Wow, Sable that is awesome! It did make me giggle when the crazy crescendo in Ekorn suddenly turned into the climax of the MacIntyre Ave Maria!!!!!!! So unexpected, but it totally fits!