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Choral Chord Constant – Boston/Roskilde Workshop

by Philip Corner


According to the score, the realization of this work should involve a choir of at least 12 singers; a requirement with which the Roskilde Studiekor was easily able to comply.
The members of the choir spread out over the slopes of the amphitheatre instructed to contemplate the notes they would soon be singing while moving about. At a signalled moment, all singers started to sing creating a wide-spaced dissonant chord by the chance combination of each singer’s preconceived tone.

As the chorus members circled among the audience, the effect of the singing was intended to be a kind of blur which comes into focus only as various combinations within the chord passed by the ears of a given seated listener.

In the score, Philip Corner stresses that the performers should avoid “…that tonal gravity which pulls down towards the simple, the easy, the familiar, which give resolutions unintended!”