The Cornelius Cardew Choir performs the rarely heard choral and drum work, The Great Learning, Paragraph 2 by Cornelius Cardew. This durational work (approx. 1 hour in length) sets text by Confucius in an English translation. Spatially separated groups of singers provide a very slow, long-tone melody while a drummer with each group of singers moves through a series of 26 rhythm patterns. The result is a mesmerizing ocean of sound.
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. We regard our process as a model of a healthy political economy and a sign of hope for a just society.