Mobile Chorus was an improvised performance that took place at the opening of Golden (Lessons), an exhibition and research residency at Beaconsfield, London, punctuated by a series of live events. Golden (Lessons) took up motifs of ballroom and song as vehicles of nostalgia, aspiration and cultivation, continuing an ongoing series of work developed under the rubric Golden. Both Mobile Chorus, and the later Mobile Ballroom, take their cue from the flash-mob phenomenon, and the idea of ‘engineered spontaneity’.
Taking the audiowork, Songs, as a point of departure, composer Mat Davidson was invited to develop a simple 3 minute score for voices, called Chorus, to be performed live. Amateur singers were provided with instrumental versions of one of five parts on headphones, to which they could listen and sing along, in a brief open rehearsal led by the composer. Participants were isolated by their headphones, yet audiences encountered them as a collective, performing in unison to form an ad hoc chorus, the single lyric, ‘golden’, echoing across the three galleries.
Mat Davidson, Chorus, 2006, 3 minute score for voices (excerpt)
susan pui san lok, Mobile Chorus, 18 October 2006, Beaconsfield, London. Images © Julian Stallabrass