No time to write much, so in brief… Benjamin Till’s Pepys Motet is being performed live this Thursday at St Olave’s. You can also listen to a recording of most of the piece or follow Benjamin’s blog. More from him:
To put the work in context: It is a 40 part motet (in the style of Spem In Alium), scored for 40 individual voices, each of whom sing a unique line.
The 40 singers are grouped into 8 choirs of 5, each representing a different vocal tradition, which itself represents a different aspect of Pepys’ personality/ life.
Gospel singers sing about his family, early music singers sing passages relating to those uncomfortable bed fellows; religion and royalty, folk singers perform sections about life on the streets of 17th Century London, opera singers sing passages about social climbing, musical theatre singers perform passages relating to Pepys’ guilty pleasures and a choir of trebles sing passages relating to children. On top of this, there’s a choir from Magdalene College, Cambridge (who sing passages relating to Pepys’ quest to learn about life) and a choir from the Royal Navy (!!) Genuine singers from the Navy.