Semaphore Conductus is a choral sound installation sung in surround, inspired by the conduction of energy, the language of signals, and sound. Performed within a sound design of shortwave radio number system transmissions, Morse code, cellphone sounds, and heartbeats, the surround choir and Bora Yoon create a stereophonic performance piece, incorporating altered early music techniques of Latin conductus through hocket, ventriloquated double choir, and antiphonal calls through the history and evolution of signaling and sound devices (conch, gramophone, megaphone, cellphone).
The selected text is comprised of new and old Latin proverbs that alludes to the cyclical nature of communication and technology, and all of its pulleys and strings that are thusly affected as a result. It is perhaps, a feeling as timeless as the means to communicate, as music is certainly one of the greatest mediums in which expression conducts the best resonance.
Sum quod eris, fui quod es
unda est ortus
sepulchrum pluvia, festina lente
esse quam videri
in lumine tuo, videbimus lumen*
I am what you will be, I was what you are
the water is rising
gravity’s rainbow, make haste slowly
to be rather than to seem
in your light, we shall see light.*
* motto of Columbia University
Featuring performance by award-winning SAYAKA Ladies Chorale of Tokyo. Directed by Ko Matsushita. Casals Hall, Nihon University, Tokyo Japan. January 2009. Commissioned by the Young People's Chorus of NYC, and premiered at Transient Glory VII, Miller Theatre, Columbia University, NYC, April 2008.