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7 New Compositions with VOICES 21C

This summer was inspiring for us at VOICES 21C, embarking on new adventures in the world of digital sound creation!

Creative leaders from the V21C community crafted SEVEN sound sculptures in response to The Choral Commons podcast’s first season, on the topics of mass incarceration, feminine empowerment, equity in the choir and more!

The process was a collaborative effort, as are all ventures with VOICES 21C, and singers took turns leading, editing, and singing.

The second piece was led by Krystal Morin and me and was in direct response to the podcast on The Choral Commons with Andy Clark and Kristina Gillis. You can see our process video and our prompt for the composition on this page!

Listen to all of the Creative Responses through Soundcloud below.

From The Choral Commons Site:

As part of podcast episode #2, Andy Clark mentioned two ideas that became the focus of this response. First, he briefly mentioned the idea of "false binaries," and although he only used the term once, the episode continually returned to the binary of spectrum thinking v. finite thinking. The willingness to see and explore the grey in between opposing viewpoints, or not.

The first part of our response explores this idea of binary through a building series of tensions. Singers were asked to think about the false binaries they may see in their lives and have a musical conversation with themselves about it. This section builds and eventually resolves to the second inspiration, Andy's reference to the idea of living life in the spirit of call and response.

To create this piece, we provided a prompt to members of VOICES 21C that included a series of "calls" from members of Cambridge Common Voices. We asked each V21C singer to respond to their call. We did not set parameters on key, rhythm, length, or any other variable; the idea was to challenge ourselves to work with what we received both as singers and editors. The responses from both groups were amazing and through the links included you can see some of the raw files which we used to construct the piece. Cambridge Common Voices was asked for prompts on the same day that they had a rehearsal themed around "sun," which was likely the inspiration for much of the singing in the second half!

Along with these pieces, Gen Conte from V21C recorded a spoken section from “Sexual (In?)difference?: Baudelarie’s Le Spleen de Paris” from Reconnections: Reading Modern French Poetry. We were not able to include that entire recording in the piece, but her reading is included and explores this concept of false binary or false dichotomy.

- Bradford Dumont and Krystal Morin, creative producers

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