Yes and Nose: A Performance of the Overlooked

On 1 June 2024, joined by special guests, artist Junshu Gu and dancer Hari Krishnan, the Vocal Constructivists offer innovative musical explorations of the sense organ we overlook: our nose. Their performance will take place in the architecturally stunning St Paul’s, Bow Common. Young and old are invited to submit single words related to scent, nose shape, or function, which will be included in the concert, alongside operatic extracts, advertising slogans, music hall songs, and contemporary compositions, featuring premieres of new commissions.

Saturday 1st June, 2024, St Paul’s Bow Common, London E3 4AR, 7pm (doors open at 6:30). Free Admission.

1952 at 70

The Vocal Constructivists returned to Pentameters Theatre on 20 December 2022 to perform 1952 at 70, in celebration of the 70th birthday of landmark experimental pieces. VCs offered fresh interpretations of Earle Brown’s December 1952 and John Cage’s 4’33”, alongside works by Morton Feldman, György Ligeti, Otto Luening, Władysław Szpilman, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and a premiere by founder member artist Alison Cross (b. 1952).

Scratch and the Sequence

Following a busy two years online, the Vocal Constructivists resumed live performance in summer 2022 with a sell-out show at Pentameters Theatre, London. The programme revisited groundbreaking works of past decades and premiered several new pieces. Scratch and the Sequence questioned the contents of Linn D’s Nothing in Nothing, explored being Half Rite, listened to Barbara Alden’s Inner Word, chased Ben Zucker’s Wolffs, crumpled Nye Ffarrabas’s paper concerto with eggs, buzzed after Simone Forti, vibrated Daniel J. Wolf’s spectral madrigals, woke up Jin-Hi Kim’s Living Tones II, and it was back to the board with Cornelius Cardew’s Schooltime Compositions and Alvin Lucier’s Opera with Objects.

‘Deep Listening: a gesture for sonic peace’

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pauline Oliveros, a composer and musical visionary who has been close to the Vocal Constructivists’ development and influenced our thinking and musical life in so many ways. Pauline’s compositions and her wisdom have inspired us to work more closely as an ensemble and her personal input has been invaluable. We were honored to work with her as recently as June 2016. In Pauline’s own words:

‘Dying will happen to all of us at some point. Impermanence still rules. However we should think about this question: what is your relationship to peace? Do you want to live in peace or do you want to live in violence? Which would you choose? One of the things we want to do according to my partner and co–Deep Listening teacher Ione is “make peace more exciting than violence.” That is the process we are attempting’.

(American Music, 2007)

We shall be performing some of Pauline’s works in the near future, and hope you will join us to remember her and her extraordinary vision – one which we could all benefit from in these uncertain times.

The Vocal Constructivists.