Reading, MA — June 2013 — (Tel que reçu) An “audio-based installation” by renowned Canadian multimedia artist Janet Cardiff, currently featured at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, depends on 40 classic Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers for its involving, enveloping experience. “The Forty-Part Motet” (2001), a past winner of The Millennium Prize of the National Gallery of Canada on loan from the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art until August 18 of this year, is an interactive soundscape that invites listener/viewers to enter into and explore the matchless musical complexity and timeless beauty of a work by 16th-century British composer Thomas Tallis.
Delivering this rich sonic tapestry, originally recorded to 40 channels at Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England, are no fewer than 40 B&W model DM 303 two-way speakers, selected by the artist for their industry-standard musical accuracy and human-scale size. Cardiff’s work is a spatial re-imagining Tallis’ famous motet “Spem in Alium” (“Hope in Other”), composed around 1573, for eight choirs of five voices each. In Cardiff’s realization each B&W speaker carries a single singing voice, permitting viewer / listeners to move about the installation, choosing any depth in which to immerse themselves in Tallis’ always-twining, complex, yet transcendently lucid musical counterpoint.
“I wanted to be able to climb inside the music,” artist Janet Cardiff has said. “Each individual vocalist’s harmony is very clear and full. We use B&W speakers in most of our works because of the quality of sound they deliver.” B&W North America’s President Doug Henderson adds, “Cardiff’s work presents an altogether transcendent way to experience music. The aim of our speaker development has always been to take the listener beyond the artificial to the soul of the performance, so we are thrilled with what she has created. And though the DM 303s are long since retired—Forty-Part Motet dates from 2001,—they retain impressive detail, depth, and tonal accuracy, even when you highlight a single voice by standing right next to a single speaker.”
Henderson concludes, “Bowers & Wilkins is honored that Janet Cardiff selected DM 303s to present Forty-Part Motet; that it springs from the work of a British composer is just icing on the cake. Yet the fact that both the work and the speakers it employs have stood the test of time speaks volumes for Cardiff’s artistic legacy, and for Bowers & Wilkins’ position in the audio field.”
In addition to The Forty-Part Motet exhibit Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller make their return to Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario with “Lost in the Memory Palace”, a selection of seven installations incorporating soundtracks, videos, objects and images being exhibited together for the very first time in Canada.
About Janet Cardiff
Janet Cardiff was born in 1957 in Brussels, Ontario, Canada and currently lives and works in the Okanagan Vallery in BC. She is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and received her M.V.A. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her audio-based installations and walking pieces have been presented in major international exhibitions and biennials worldwide.
About Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins is Britain’s leading exporter of loudspeakers and the number one imported brand in North America. Since 1966, Bowers & Wilkins’ « Quest for Perfection » has resulted in a succession of technical loudspeaker innovations that have satisfied the world’s most demanding listeners. Its products’ rave reviews and universal acceptance as monitors for classical music recording have helped Bowers & Wilkins become the dominant premium loudspeaker company throughout the world.
For additional information visit http://www.bowers-wilkins.com