Who we are

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Regular singers (not all in the photo): Barbara Alden, Jane Alden, Aubrey Botsford, Clare Brady, James Bull, George Chambers, Adrian Cole, Stef Conner, Alison Cross, Iris Ederer, Rebecca Hardwick, Penny Homer, Charles Céleste Hutchins, Celia Jackson, Peter Johnson, Bron Jones, Linn D., Rachel Hewitt, Jill House, John McLeod, Dominic McGonigal, Sanjay Manohar, Kevin Raftery, Lauren Redhead, Stephen Rice, Graham Roberts, Celia Springate, David Till, Simon Walton, Ali Warner, Samuel Wilcock

We are VOCAL CONSTRUCTIVISTS, on account of the resemblance between pages of the first score we sang, Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise and Constructivist architecture. And our building work continues…

The group was formed by Jane Alden in 2011 to give what was apparently the first ever vocal-only performance of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise (1964–67). Believing the score’s length to be a crucial part of its identity, we performed the work in its entirety. We have since worked on scores by American, British, and Polish composers—pieces by Mark Applebaum, Anthony Braxton, George Chambers, Jan Duszyński, Kasia Glowicka, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Charles Céleste Hutchins, Andrzej Koszewski, Ronald Kuivila, Paula Matthusen, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Parsons, Lauren Redhead, Bogusław Schäffer, and Christian Wolff. Seven of these composers wrote especially for the Vocal Constructivists and collaborated closely in the preparation of the performances. The group explores idiosyncratic notation as a form of social practice, the score supplying open-ended vocabulary for collective discourse. No one individual assumes the role of artistic director. Instead, all musical decisions come from the group, worked out in collaboration. The Vocal Constructivists have performed at South London Gallery, V22 Summer Club (The Old Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey), The Forge, Arcola Theatre, Peckham multi-storey car park (as part of London Contemporary Music Festival), and JACK (Brooklyn, NYC). They were chosen as ensemble in residence for the Time Stands Still conference at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, in spring 2013.

2 thoughts on “Who we are

  1. In the section ‘Who We Are’ you never say who you are. None of the names of the people in Vocal Constructivists are given. Why is it important to name the composers but not the performers?

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