Building A New Legacy: Opening Launch

In response to the current restrictions on in-person group singing, the Vocal Constructivists are launching several new initiatives: a music education scheme, collaborative ‘bleeding chunks’ of Tom Phillips’ Irma, and a remote performance of Mark Applebaum’s Metaphysics of Notation that will grow incrementally and change infinitely. On 7 August, 2020, the Opening Launch of our Building A New Legacy project featured panels with participants in 3 countries, making, creating, sharing, planning, and doing.

The Construction Site (8:00 PT/11:00 ET/16:00 BST/IST)

This launched a seven-month partnership between the Vocal Constructivists and Cross Border Youth Choir (Ireland and Northern Ireland), introducing young singers to the principles of experimental vocalization.

Reconstructing Irma (10:00 PT/13:00 ET/18:00 BST/IST)

The first screening of Golden Irma, a newly created film that reinterprets the Vocal Constructivists’ 2019 performance of Irma, was followed by a discussion panel and Q&A with the performers.

Constructing Infinity (12:00 PT/15:00 ET/20:00 BST/IST)

This session launched an innovative project to create an ever-changing interpretation of Applebaum’s Metaphysics of Notation using only vocal sounds and body percussion. A round-table discussion explored its artistic goals, computational challenges, and details on participation.

From Mark Applebaum’s Metaphysics of Notation.

Use on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to connect with the Vocal Constructivists about Building A New Legacy.

In Memoriam: Carole Finer

Carole Finer on a Scratch Orchestra tour in Hall in Tyrol, Austria. Photo by Frank Abbott.

On 20 March, 2020, our beloved friend and collaborator Carole Finer passed away. In addition to being a founding member of the Scratch Orchestra, Carole was an extraordinary musician, composer, musicologist, and radio broadcaster. Her radio show Sound Out on Resonance FM explored a wide range of musical genres, from experimental to bluegrass to musical samples that she collected in her travels around the world. We will always be grateful to her for sharing her mentorship, musicianship, and unbridled creativity with us.


  • In response to the current restrictions on in-person choral activities, the Vocal Constructivists are launching several new initiatives: a youth participation scheme, multiple fragmentary interpretations of Tom Phillips’ Irma, and a remote performance of a graphic score that will grow incrementally and change infinitely.
  • 7 August 2020 marks the launch of a new 7-month project, Building a New Legacy. Join us online for the premiere screening of a new interpretation of our performance of Irma, Tom Phillips’ 1969 opera, discussion of a new computer-assisted realization of open notation, and reflections on the youth project as part of building new audiences for experimental music.
  • Join us for the two-day festival that marks the culmination of this project, 6–7 March, 2021.
  • The Vocal Constructivists were scheduled to perform Treatise and lead an interactive workshop on the music of Pauline Oliveros at the Donostia-San Sebastián Musical Fortnight in August. While we had to cancel our trip due to Covid-19, we were honored to be included in one of Europe’s most renowned classical music festivals, and we hope to participate in Musical Fortnight in the future.

Walking Still album is available!


VC album logo

Walking Still features pieces by three American composers and three British composers, including our original rendition of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise.

Want to hear some now? Go to our SoundCloud page or here to purchase the CD.