Sound / image installation
The African Choir 1891 Re-Imagined
21 September – 1 October 2016
In this new sound installation – a work in progress – South African composers Philip Miller and Thuthuka Sibisi re-create a 19th century performance by The African Choir as a contemporary sonic interpretation.
Part of Autograph ABP's Archive Laboratory, open for 10 days only.
Working with fourteen young professional singers, the composers reinvent songs based upon the original concert programmes in London during the summer of 1891. The contemporary singers are drawn from choral groups and opera schools in South Africa; each singer corresponds with a counterpart with his or her vocal type in the original fourteen-member African Choir, who toured Britain between 1891 and 1893, performing to great acclaim and large audiences at venues such as Crystal Palace, and for Queen Victoria at Osborne House.
Their repertoire was divided into two halves: one comprised Christian hymns sung in English together with popular operatic arias and choruses; the other traditional African songs.
Their portraits, first exhibited in 2014 as part of Black Chronicles II, had remained unseen for more than 125 years. They constitute the most comprehensive body of known photographs portraying African sitters in Victorian Britain.
Curated by Renée Mussai.
Presented by Autograph ABP in partnership with UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies and the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art.
The installation will be in Autograph ABP’s Black Chronicles Archive Laboratory from 21 September – 1 October 2016 in the second floor gallery.
A free panel discussion and drinks reception Sound & The Archive will take place on September 26, 6.30 – 9pm. Book tickets >