Chorus At The Corner: A Joyfull Noise


Born in 1933, with a career spanning over 65 years, the American composer Philip Corner has explored the most diverse artistic and musical expressions: as a pianist and trombonist, he performed historic and contemporary authors such as Ives, Cage, Cacioppo, Hellerman (in 1963 he also took part in the first integral performance of Vexations by Satie curated by Cage in New York). As a composer and performer, he was a member of Fluxus (defining with his Piano Activities the most iconic performance of the movement, albeit in the "over the top" rendition by Maciunas, Williams, Vostell, Paik, Higgins, Patterson, and Knowles in Wiesbaden in 1962); but also (between 1962 and 1965) of Judson Dance Theatre, composing music for dance and theatre pieces by Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Living Theatre, etc. In 1963 he co-founded the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney; in 1972, with Julie Winter, the ensemble Sounds out of Silent Spaces (at whose performances took part Annea Lockwood, Alison Knowles, Ruth Anderson, and Tom Johnson); and in 1975, with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode, the Gamelan Son of Lion. He experimented with both "action music" and "meditative music," electronic or concrete montages, proto-plunderphonic collages, graphic scores, verbal philosophical/poetic instructions, contemporary gamelans, extreme minimalism (in 1977 in New York his Elementals lasted 123 uninterrupted hours on a single note, played in turn by guests spanning from Beth Anderson, to Cage to Paik); but he also composed for string quartets, chamber music ensembles, and orchestras. As a visual artist he created countless assemblages, calligraphies, collages, drawings, paintings and objects made of various materials, showcased in museums and collections around the world. Corner has been living in Italy since 1992, and he presented several projects at AngelicA (amongst which an unprecedented trio with Joan La Barbara and Alvin Curran paying homage to Cage), but perhaps the most peculiar one has been Chorus at the Corner: A Joyfull Noise, a commission entirely dedicated to his compositions for choir. A concert made possible by the availability of two "resident" choirs at the festival.