Forty Part Motet

20 Dec 2002 - 16 Feb 2003

The publicly and critically acclaimed exhibition Forty-Part Motet will return to the National Gallery of Canada just on time for the holidays. From 20 December 2002 to 16 February 2003, visitors will have the opportunity to discover or rediscover Janet Cardiff's brilliant sound sculpture in the Rideau Chapel of the National Gallery. Admission is free. 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, earning it a popularity rarely encountered by contemporary art. "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."