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Phoenix Chorale to Perform at SMoCA Opening Friday, February 7, 2014

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Janet Cardiff, “The Forty Part Motet,” 2001. Reworking of “Spem in Alium Nunquam habui” (1575) by Thomas Tallis; 40-track sound recording (14:00 minutes), 40 speakers. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder in memory of Rolf Hoffmann, 2002. Image courtesy of the artist and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK. © Janet Cardiff. Photo: Colin Davison

The Phoenix Chorale has been given the opportunity to bring a unique contemporary art experience to life. This Friday, February 7, the Phoenix Chorale will perform at the opening of an exciting exhibition at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) entitled The Five Senses.

The intent of this exhibition is to impact all five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) through five powerful works of art by renowned artists from around the world: Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Roelof Louw, and Ernesto Neto.

The Chorale’s performance is inspired by Janet Cardiff’s art installation, The Forty Part Motet. The installation has been getting a lot of attention lately, with an article in The New York Times and in Chorus America’s publication, Voices. Cardiff is a Canadian sound artist, and this piece demonstrates a unique musical experience, creating eight quintets from forty speakers at eye-level. Each individual voice of each quintet plays through its own individual speaker – one of forty speakers placed in a circle. The listener experiences choral music in an unfamiliar way; rather than facing the sound, like a typical performance, the music is around them and the listener is free to move about.

The installation features the voices of Salisbury Cathedral Choir singing the piece “Spem in alium” created by Thomas Tallis, the 16th-century English composer who is considered one of England’s greatest composers of sacred music.

Other pieces in the exhibit include Finch’s 2 Hours, 2 Minutes, 2 Seconds (Wind at Walden Pond, March 12, 2007), a piece consisting of forty-four box fans, and Louw’s Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges), made up of six thousand individual oranges.

Details for the opening and performance can be found on the Facebook event here. This is one contemporary art experience you won’t want to miss!

If you can’t make the performance, the exhibition will be at SMoCA until May 4th. More information about The Five Senses can be found on the SMoCA website

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale, AZ.

– Melissa McCann, Marketing & Communications Intern