Tu Es Petrus by Palestrina

Palestrina is really cool, but very complicated. Polyphony is NOT easy to sing.

It’s before the Baroque period of music, so it sounds strange to modern ears at first. But it is very beautiful, and I admire the musicianship that it takes to sing this as a choir.

I was watching a film last night that talked about the difference between the lead singer and backup singers who sing parts. A singer in a group has to sacrifice for the good of the whole. I’ve sung in choirs before so I know what that means. However, the reward is so sweet. 🙂 So very sweet. There is nothing quite like singing in a choir when the harmonies are really tight. The sensation is almost tactile.

A few years ago there was an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art based on that idea. The exhibit was basically twenty speakers. The artist had recorded all the parts individually and then had a speaker play each part. People at the art museum could stand in the center and listen to the music with voices coming in and going out all around them. The artist thought of it as a kind of sculpture, and I know what he means by it. The sound is three dimensional. It has structure.

I don’t remember what that exhibit was called, but this is pretty close to that experience.

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