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Monday, October 21, 2013

Transcendent, in 40 Parts

Amazing afternoon today at New York's (largely) hidden gem, the Cloisters in upper Manhattan, a birthday pick by my lovely wife.  In the castle they presented their first ever contemporary art piece that has drawn raves:  an eleven-minute piece titled the "Forty Part Motet," featuring Tudor composer Thomas Tallis's Spem in alium.  Sound comes from a separate speaker for each of the 40 singers in the choir, arrayed in a large oval in an ancient chapel.  So you can sit inside the sound and let it wash over you--or stand in front of one of the speakers and listen to one of the singers come and go.  Visitors stand or sit and enter deep contemplation or reverie.  A short video here captures some of it.   If you're in NYC area, don't miss this.  And the Cloisters is (are) cool anyway.  Here's a video of when it was done in a different setting:

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