Forty-Part Motet: Version One (British Edition)
Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller
Brief description of the work:
40 track audio installation of 'Spem in Alium nunquam habui', written by Thomas Tallis (16th century) Duration: 14:07
Materials, dimensions, duration:
Recording of eight choirs of five voices, each voice represented by a speaker at head height.
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):
Originally produced in 2001. Seen at "Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Recent Works" exhibition at Millennium Galleries Sheffield, 11.02. -18.04.2004, also exhibited 12 April - 7 September 2003 Tate Gallery Liverpool
Audience information (size, mode of participation):
Several audience members could walk through the installation at their own pace
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):
The work was produced by Field Art Projects with the Arts Council of England, Canada House, the Salisbury Festival and Salisbury Cathedral Choir, BALTIC Gateshead, The New Art Gallery Walsall and the NOW Festival Nottingham with the assistance of Tascam UK and B&W Loudspeakers.

Forty-Part Motet 2001 (British Edition) was lent by Pamela and Richard Kramlich and the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, fractional and promised gift.
Floorplan, scheme:
Visual/ audio-visual reference:
Key theme(s):
Interplay and fusion between participant's physical presence and perceived reality (projected sound); dislocation
Further context:

Online video and sound clip, published by an audience member

The most intriguing aspect of the work is the recreation of a live performance.The individuality of each of the singers' voices has been preserved in the multi-channel recording, and so a stunning discrepancy between life-like sound and absence of singer can be experienced.

Tallis' music, composed for Elizabeth I's 40th birthday, "deals with transcendence and humility, both important issues to a Catholic composer during a time when the Catholic faith was suppressed" (Tate online)