10 Sep 2013 - 08 Dec 2013
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Winner of the Millennium Prize 2001, Forty Part Motet is a reworking of "Spem in Alium" by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century English composer. Forty separately-recorded choir voices are played back through forty speakers positioned around the room. The effect of the work on visitors is deeply moving.
"Most people experience this piece now in their living rooms in front of only two speakers," says Janet Cardiff. “Even in a live concert the audience is separated from the individual voices. Only the performers are able to hear the person standing next to them singing a different harmony. I wanted to be able to climb inside the music."
View of Janet Cardiff’s Forty-Part Motet, 2001 40-track audio installation, 14 minutes in duration; at the Rideau Chapel, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada Purchased 2001