Boomkat Product Review:
Last heard on the Infinite Greyscale label, Peter Broderick’s choir ensemble are in fine voice on Sunday Songs for South London’s First Terrace Records
“First Terrace Records present The Beacon Sound Choir singing Sunday Songs - a project conceived by Peter Broderick and brought to life through collaborations with a number of Portland-based individuals including David Allred, Holland Andrews (Like a Villain), Branic Howard and Heather Woods Broderick.
Beacon Sound Choir is one of Broderick’s most ambitious and avant-garde projects to date. Utilising the harmonies of a 35 strong choir, Sunday Songs plays out with an almost religious undercurrent; the product of individuals inspired to commit a divine act of collaboration, recalling the rare splendour of a community in seamless alliance.
This is not to place the choir in an unattainable bracket however. As Peter explains, the aim of the project was simply to get as many people singing together as possible, regardless of musical experience. The relaxed demeanour of the singers and the occasional unguarded moments of wonder and excitement betray the true nature of the recordings, that they were not made to be works of art in their own right, but rather to serve as a snapshot of a glorious phenomena; documents of a small miracle occurring on Sunday mornings at the Beacon Sound record shop in Portland, Oregon, where for Peter the act of singing became “nothing short of a magical teleportation to another realm”.
As well as the original choir recordings, the album also features a sprawling ambient rework from the endlessly inventive Machinefabriek, which he describes as “a patchwork, connecting and expanding the more dreamlike parts of Sunday Songs into a sea of voices, where it’s unclear where one voice stops and the other begins.” His jaw-dropping reinterpretation of the source material is informed in some ways by the work of Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez. “When I discovered his choir music not so long ago I realized that ambient music already existed around the 1500s”).”