susan pui san lok, Mobile Chorus, 18 October 2006, Beaconsfield, London. Photo by J Stallabrass
Mobile Chorus was a participatory performance that took place on 18 October 2006, at the opening of Golden (Lessons), an exhibition and research residency at Beaconsfield, London. 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, took their cue from the flash-mob phenomenon, and the idea of ‘engineered spontaneity’.
Drawing on Songs as a point of departure, the artist invited the composer Mat Davidson to develop a simple 3 minute score for voices, called Chorus. For Mobile Chorus, amateur singers were given instrumental versions of 5 different vocal parts on headphones, and invited to sing along. Isolated by their headphones and slightly out of synch with their instrumental tracks and each other, the singers formed an ad hoc chorus, an awkward collective carrying the single lyric ‘golden’ across the three spaces of Beaconsfield, from the upper and lower galleries through to the railway arches.
Above: Mat Davidson for susan pui san lok, Chorus, 2006, 3′ score for voices (excerpt)
Chorus, 2006, 3′ (piano instrumental, parts I – IV)
Chorus, 2006, 3′ (piano instrumental, all)
Above: susan pui san lok, Mobile Chorus, 18 October 2006, Beaconsfield, London. Photos by J Stallabrass
Mobile Chorus, 18 October 2006, audio documentation, 3′ (excerpt, Beaconsfield railway arches)
Mobile Chorus (Montreal), 12 April 2014