Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Zone B Independent Project

Forty-Part Motet, 2001

Suitable for all ages

The Toronto Consort

Forty-Part Motet

Janet Cardiff - Grindrod, Canada

Sound Installation

Winner of the Millennium Prize 2001, Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is a brilliant sound sculpture, a reworking of Spem in alium by the 16th-century English composer Thomas Tallis.

40 separately-recorded choir voices are played back through 40 speakers positioned around the large gymnasium at the Trinity-St. Paul's Centre.

The effect of the work on visitors is deeply moving, earning it a popularity rarely encountered by contemporary art. "Most people experience this piece now in their living rooms in front of only two speakers," says Janet Cardiff. "I wanted to be able to climb inside the music."

Forty-Part Motet is produced here as part of the celebrations marking the 40th Anniversary of The Toronto Consort, Canada's leading ensemble performing the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Janet Cardiff is one of Canada's most important artists. Her extraordinary sound installations have been shown across Canada and around the world.


Trinity-St. Paul's Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts, 427 Bloor Street West

This project is indoors.