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Tallis and Tech: A Virtual Reality Choral Experience

Louisville Public Media and 21c Museum Hotel Louisville are proud to present “Tallis and Tech: A Virtual Reality Choral Experience” on Saturday, April 7. Visitors will have access to the 360-degree video in the main floor video lounge beginning at 7 p.m. An introduction and discussion to Thomas Tallis and Spem in alium with John Hale, UofL’s director of liberal studies, begins at 8 pm in the Atrium Gallery. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.

In 1570, English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) set out to write a new musical work, in what could be considered an early experiment in surround sound. Using a Latin text from the Sarum Rite, Tallis composed the motet Spem in alium for 40 individual voices, who would stand in a horseshoe shape around the audience or congregation. The music is composed in such way that the melodies and harmonies passed through the choir encircle the listener, creating spatial effects that seem centuries ahead of its time.

90.5 WUOL partnered with the Louisville Chamber Choir and Kent Hatteberg to pair Tallis’ masterpiece with 21st-century technology: VR/360 video and sound. 90.5 WUOL’s team recorded Tallis’ Spem in alium, sung by the Louisville Chamber Choir, in Louisville at 21c Museum Hotel, St. James Catholic Church, and the elevator of the Brown Hotel. The result is a remarkable new way to experience some of the world’s oldest music.

“Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium is the perfect music to show off the latest technological developments in video and audio,” says Daniel Gilliam, director of radio and executive producer of the video, “and this is just the start for Louisville Public Media. We have some other VR/360 video and sound ideas up our sleeves.”

The 360-degree video will remain available online at WUOL.org and the WUOL Facebook page following the event. Special thanks to Ben Sollee and Tin Ear Productions for providing the camera and microphones. The video is produced by Tyler Franklin with audio production by Chris Kincaid. The executive producer is Daniel Gilliam.

ABOUT LOUISVILLE PUBLIC MEDIA 
Louisville Public Media (LPM) is an independent, community supported not-for-profit corporation serving our community with three distinct public radio stations, an investigative unit, and a free online calendar service: 89.3 WFPL News Louisville provides local, national and international news, public affairs and cultural programming; 90.5 WUOL Classical Louisville is our city’s only classical music radio station; 91.9 WFPK Independent Louisville showcases independent, alternative music and an array of musical genres; Do502 connects the community to shared interests, passions and our rich cultural life; and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR) shines the light of accountability on the people and institutions in power.

Louisville Public Media is also a proud member of the Kentucky Public Radio Network and manager of the Ohio Valley ReSource, a regional journalism collaborative reporting on economic and social change in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

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