BAR 011 CD

Dutch vocal artist Cas de Marez explores all the sounds her voice is capable of producing; from pure singing to groaning and whispering, and blends them together to form one language of sound. Proceeding from the voice as abstract instrument and at the same time the most direct interpreter of emotions, she is primarily interested in utilising all the possibilities of sound and timbre. Besides using pure vocal sounds the relationship between sound and space plays an important role in the piece ‘Cathédrale de Chant’, which Cas de Marez performed in 1990. This was a 15 hour performance, for one voice and a multitrack taperecorder. This culminated in a choir of 15 chromatic voices, revealing the complete architecture of this cathedrale of chants.

Cas de Marez’s personal journey through the unexplored realms of the human voice has earned her an impressive reputation. She developed a unique vocabulary with the performances of so called Instant Compositions with improvising musicians such as Martin van Duynhoven, Luc Houtkamp and Piet Hoeksma, who all share an interest in sound and timbre. In the domains of Audio Art she has been involved in a wide variety of projects, such as ‘Sound Graffiti’ in a subwaytunnel, a duet for voice and engine during a trip on a pleasure boat and a composition for three voices, which could be heard day and night on a special telephone number.

During her career Cas de Marez developed an interest in the interaction between sound and space and she began to integrate the influence of the characteristics of the place of performance within her work. This culminated in ‘Cathédrale de Chant’, which is a 15 hour performance composed and performed in the Dom cathedral in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Dutch vocal artist Cas de Marez explores all the sounds her voice is capable of producing; from pure singing to groaning and whispering, and blends them together to form one language of sound. Proceeding from the voice as abstract instrument and at the same time the most direct interpreter of emotions, she is primarily interested in utilising all the possibilities of sound and timbre.

This has resulted in music in which she applies a variety of techniques in order to create her own personal language of sound.

Besides using pure vocal sounds the relationship between sound and space plays an important role in Cas de Marez’s work.

These elements are found in the piece ‘Cathédrale de Chant’, performed in 1990: a 15 hour performance, for one voice and a multitrack taperecorder.

Using a vocal technique that makes allowance for overtones (seen by Tibetan monks as the voices of the Gods), she built, adding tone upon tone, a cathedral of chants.

For the first hour of the performance she sang a continuous series of tones, which were held while she introduced within the overtone area variations of increasing intensity of timbre.

The recording of this first hour was then played back. 3 Minutes and 40 seconds into the recording Cas de Marez added a new series of sounds, a semitone higher than the first series, and these were then in turn recorded on a new track.

This process was then repeated 14 times, with Cas de Marez adding each time a new voice to the multilayered structure. This culminated in a choir of chromatic voices, revealing the complete architecture of this ‘Cathédrale de Chant’. During the last 3 minutes and 40 seconds the 15th voice was added.

Due to the vocal technique used and the increasing number of layers various acoustic  phenomena took place.

This CD contains a recording of the 15th hour of ‘Cathédrale de Chant’, the whole performance compressed into a 15 voice choir.

It is recorded in the Dom cathedral in Utrecht, the Netherlands.