For Corpus Sonus a choir are instructed to perform William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus (1605), as written by the composer in the score. As the choir perform, however, they are to record their voices onto dictaphones, recording the work as they sing it. After performing the piece the choir rewind their tape-players and then move outwards in order to fill the performance space. Once in their new positions, one-by-one, the players begin to play back their recordings and the piece is re-performed in an entirely new, polyphonic arrangement.
Individual parts move out of sync and new relationships are formed between the melodic lines; the extent of this temporal slippage is determined entirely by the performance space and the extent of which the singers must move to evenly distribute themselves within it.
Corpus Sonus was written for Musarc and first performed by them at Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2012.