The Cardew Choir 12th Anniversary Concert
Tickets available at the door only
Founded on Mayday 2001, the Cornelius Cardew Choir is a vocal performance ensemble based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The choir is an exciting intersection of community and experimental music brought together by singing. The ensemble consists of professional, amateurs, and novice singers who collectively work to turn their ideas into sonic action. All participants feel free to make suggestions about ways of performing a given piece or try new approach to singing. The choir functions as a group composition seminar and a model of healthy political community. We are named in honor of Cornelius Cardew, English experimental composer/performer and political activist who was killed in 1981. We draw inspiration from his Scratch Orchestra, Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening and John Cage’s love of sound and life. We are delighted to co-present these concerts with the new Center for New Music in San Francisco.
Curious about the music we’ll do?
Five-One by choir co-founder Bob Marsh is a remarkable work of sonic theater, employing humor, pathos, and action, using Five Elements: Sybil (seer), Ranter (psycho style street person), Carpenters, Clatter Chatterers (tea party with porcelain cups and saucers, Intone Nation (note singers). Three variations – The Sparseness (sound here and there), The Blastfulness (short-ish burst of sound, and the Thickness (continuous legato, depending on the Element). Conduction by Bob Marsh (dancer, mixicologist, puppeteer, etc).
Knee Play 3 by Philip Glass is a bracing choral piece from Einstein on the Beach, with numbers and some solfeggio (do-re-mi) as the text. It’s great fun to sing and to hear.
The Tuning Meditation by Pauline Oliveros is a deeply engaging vocal interaction that blossoms into elegant clouds of sound. Democracy manifest in beauty. It’s one of our favorite pieces to perform and is a Deep Listening Meditation by the oval figure in American Experimental Music.
Wildwood Cantata by David Samas provides a buffet of delicious wilderness sounds in song and poetry with interjections of indigenous woodland musics set to unusual invented instruments made from the natural elements. Together we listen our way from wind and silence through the dawn chorus of birds with solos from Gusty Winds May Exist (shakuhachi and recorder), down the river and into the heart of the trees while Bob Marsh dances butoh in the Sonic Tree Suit. After a rainstorm we howl together, ending in the twilight choir of droning insects.