The Vocal Constructivists worked closely with American composer, philosopher, writer, activist, and visionary Pauline Oliveros, who passed away in November 2016. The group pays tribute to her life and work in a wide-ranging programme that draws from over six decades of her career. Featured works will include her 1961 Sound Patterns, awarded the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 1962, text scores from Sonic Meditations (1971), Wind Horse (1989), and the participatory A New Indigo Peace (2008).
As well as works by Oliveros, the ensemble will perform Robert Ashley’s She Was a Visitor (1967), and new commissions – all receiving their world premiere – by composers who knew and worked with her.
‘Dying will happen to all of us at some point. Impermanence still rules. However we should think about this question: what is your relationship to peace? Do you want to live in peace or do you want to live in violence? Which would you choose? One of the things we want to do according to my partner and co–Deep Listening teacher Ione is “make peace more exciting than violence.” That is the process we are attempting’. (American Music, 2007).
THE VOCAL CONSTRUCTIVISTS are a dynamic ensemble specialising in the performance of text and graphic scores, alongside works that extend ‘traditional’ notation. The group was formed by Jane Alden in 2011 and was the first ensemble to perform an all-vocal version of Cornelius Cardew’s epic Treatise (1964-67). The Vocal Constructivists included various renditions of Treatise in performances across the UK before recording excerpts on their debut recording Walking Still (Innova: 2014). Coming from diverse backgrounds including classical music, punk, dance, mime and noise art, and with an age range of 18-78, the group draws on a variety of artistic influences to create programmes that reflect their shared interests in experimental music from the UK, the US, and Poland. In their short history, the group have commissioned and premiered twelve works, establishing themselves as an important force in new music-making.
The Vocal Constructivists have performed at South London Gallery, Morley College, Hanbury Hall, V22 Summer Club (The Old Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey), The Forge, Arcola Theatre, Peckham multi-storey car park (as part of the London Contemporary Music Festival), JACK (Brooklyn, NYC), and Freemasons’ Hall, Dublin. They were chosen as Ensemble In Residence for the 2013 Time Stands Still conference at Wesleyan University, Connectiut, where they worked with composers Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, Ron Kuivila, Mark Applebaum and Paula Matthusen. In 2016 they headlined at Ideoprenurial Entrephonics 2 in Dublin and were the closing act of Southbank Centre’s Deep Minimalism festival at St John’s Smith Square.
“a group of exceptionally gifted singers who are at one with each other” – Choir and Organ