The City of London Festival presents the world premiere of Samuel Bordoli’s pioneering Live Music Sculpture - a new site-specific composition written for St Paul’s Cathedral in London, which explores the building’s distinctive spatial dimensions. The specially-conceived work, titled Live Music Sculpture 3: St Paul's Cathedral, will be performed five times on Friday 12 July, with musicians carefully positioned around the Cathedral to provide a unique acoustical experience. The performance comes 350 years after Sir Christopher Wren was approached to draw up plans to refurbish St Paul's Cathedral in 1663, before the Great Fire of London.
While composers have long written for the Cathedral, including such greats as George Frideric Handel with his Utrecht Te Deum of 1713, Bordoli’s work will harness the acoustical properties of the building, making the most of its remarkable 13-second reverberation. The eight-minute piece will explore the unique architectural form and structure of St Paul’s Cathedral, so that the source of the sound will sometimes be imperceptible and surprising. Audience members are able to walk around the building to experience the performance from different perspectives.
Bordoli explains: “Freeing this performance from a conventional orchestral set-up enables a surround sound experience which plays on the echo and resonance of the venue, that will be different for each listener as they move around the Cathedral. Working with an architectural model of St Paul’s, I have composed a piece which takes into consideration the 13-second reverberation time with staggered entries of the five groups. St Paul’s Cathedral is an intrinsic part of the composition.”
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