the chorus

last night,

Parallel Octave and I had a great time lecturing and performing at the Wham City Lecture Series. Thanks very much to C, R, and everyone else who helped make it possible.

I spoke briefly about the history of my attempts with choruses, then we demonstrated “Emperor of Ice-Cream.” Finally, we set a chorus from Ted Hughes’s AGAMMEMNON on the audience, a group of about 20 people.

Their brood gone, they lament their vigilance that failed.

One of the things I noticed with this group (this has come up before, but I think I have only just systematized it in my head) is that with such a large chorus, it becomes much more difficult to add in music in a first pass through. (This may have been exacerbated by the echo-y acoustics.) In choruses of, I don’t know, four or fewer, music almost always helps. Get to the 5-8 range–or above 10–and it can confuse them from listening appropriately to one another. I’m reminded that with N’s students (on this same text) we did not bring in drums until day 2.

We have some audio from the event. I don’t know if it will be listenable, but I will post it if it is.


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