Sonorous

A word that could apply to many people’s hangovers, but also to 16th century polyphony. This music is warm, alive and calming and as we’re still in Christmastide, it’s not too late to listen to.

Tallis: the Gloria from Byrd’s Missa puer natus es

Byrd – an Advent motet that does not advocate mob violence, but sets a similar text to that used by Bach in ‘Wachet Auf’.

I like the rough, ‘untutored’ sound of the Byrd recording, which reminds me of the recordings of the Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz. About five years ago, I walked round her sound installation Surround Me with two friends the day after New Year’s Day.

It was a bright, crisp day, bitterly cold, and as we stumbled down side alleys by bins with cockroaches, or the back of the Bank of England and across the Barbican highrise we would come across recordings of 16th century madrigals sung by Philipsz herself. It was the most perfect marriage of location and music and a wonderfully generous project for Artangel to put on. This video captures some of it:

http://www.artangel.org.uk//projects/2010/surround_me/surround_me_video/surround_me_from_moorfields_to_milk_st

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