Sunday 15th July 2018
Sheffield’s groundbreaking antichoir, Juxtavoices, have created a new piecewritten specifically for Bishops’ House. For this composition, Juxtavoices will be using the actual fabric of the building and its mysterious sounds and spaces in order to create an unforgettable sonic experience for the audience – we can’t tell you exactly what we’re going to do, that would spoil it!
We will be previewing the piece in a brief performance at 3pm, while the house is still open to the public, and then again at 4pm with some extra material.
Juxtavoices is an anti-choir of 25 mostly untrained voices whose repertoire includes members’ own compositions and arrangements of classic modernist poems and found texts. The scores provide structure but freedom of pitch allows improvisation to shape the detail so that no two performances are ever the same. Audiences are unfailingly surprised by the Juxtavoices sound. Some try to name-check composers in the avant-garde tradition but none quite fit. Some shudder at the dark theatricality, some hear the humour, some are outraged while others feel an irresistible urge to join the ranks. This is singing on the edge of not-singing or vice versa, a music only previously heard in a sound-poet’s dreams. The group enjoys unusual acoustic spaces – furnace floor or bear pit or library stairwell – as well as churches and more conventional concert venues. It hopes to create a chord which will startle the ghost of Thomas Tallis. Directed by Martin Archer and Alan Halsey Juxtavoices uniquely combines the outer reaches of improvised music and innovative poetry.