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Week 3 – Becky


This week I missed the seminar because I was off Ill. I spent most of the week lying in bed feeling crap and sorry for myself. All creativity was sort of on hold while I was looking after myself.


Janet Cardiff, The Forty Part Motet (A reworking of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, 1556) 2001.

When Cardiff first heard a recording of Thomas Tallis’s ambitious sixteenth-century choral composition Spem in alium nunquam habui (In no other is my hope) in 1998, she envisioned the possibility of hearing each voice in isolation from its greater harmony. To make this concept a reality, on the occasion of the 2001 Salisbury Festival she recorded forty members of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir as they sang the piece’s forty musical lines. The motet, which Tallis likely composed to honour Queen Mary I of England on her fortieth birthday, is performed by eight groups of singers, each of which have five members—a soprano (here a child performer), an alto, a tenor, a baritone, and a bass.

In the installation, the speakers are also arranged in eight groups of five, describing a large oval, and each singer’s voice, recorded separately, emanates from a single speaker. As a result, listeners play an active role in the work, controlling how they experience the composition by moving through the exhibition space—standing in front of a single speaker for an intimate experience with a solo voice or positioning themselves between speakers to hear singers in combination. At the centre of the installation, all the voices may be heard in unison.


This week a lot of my work went on hold because of being ill. I’m still not sure what I want to do. Whilst lying in bed I’ve been watching a lot of comfort movies like Tim Burton and Studio Ghibli. I love the stop animation idea and Illustrations. I’m doing Book Illustrations and creative film next term so I might save a project idea with that for then.

Caitlin suggested looking at the skills we wrote down last week on the wall and bounce off of them. I like the idea of working with birds and combining my two hobbies, art and training.

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