In 2001 Exmoor Singers established a long-term project, Sounds: voices of our time, with the aim of devoting a series of concerts exclusively to the work of living composers, with a particular focus on British composers. The project also encompasses the commissioning of new works, giving first UK or London performances and – importantly – second performances too. The 2008 Exmoor Singers CD CURTAIN contains highlights of Sounds I-IV.
The first dedicated concert in the series was in the Purcell Room, in the Southbank Centre, London, in May 2002, for which the choir received a four-star review in The Times.
Works featured in this series have ranged from those by up-and-coming composers to the most established, from Joseph Fort, aged 16 at the time, to Elliott Carter, then in his nineties. Hear some examples below.
The Sounds series
Sounds V: 20 October 2008, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Sounds CD: CURTAIN 2008
Sounds IV: 28 July 2007, Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair
Sounds III: 12 July 2004, St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch
Sounds II: 15 May 2003, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Sounds I: 27 May 2002, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
Music director, James Jarvis on Sounds:
The Sounds: voices of our time project benefits Exmoor Singers in a great number of ways – we regard it as one of the most potent tools in our development. It is stimulating both for singers and for conductor: the day will never come when we cease striving to get to the bottom of such masterpieces as Bach’s motets, but there is a quite different thrill in trying to make something out of dots you’ve never seen before; by broadening our repertoire it strengthens our general programmes and so benefits our audiences; and it improves us as a choir by developing our sight-reading and stimulating us to invent new choral techniques.
Above all, though, a choir with the capabilities of Exmoor Singers has a duty to give a voice to those who could be the great composers of tomorrow.