Having trouble holding a conversation at a party? Can’t manage to concentrate when surrounded by lots of other people talking? Distracted by other threads of conversations?
Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to all of these; it’s called ‘the cocktail party problem’; and The Clerks’ new, richly entertaining programme explores the problem through music from the 14th to the 21st centuries. Voices from the Middle Ages and modern world jostle for attention, as the Clerks attempt to throw new light on a mystery which has kept scientists busy for decades.
The programme features an eclectic assortment of motets from Medieval England and France, songs by Renaissance masters such as Josquin Des Prez and Antoine Busnois, and a new work by Christopher Fox, Tales from Babel. The event also provides illuminating insights from a team of scientists based at Cambridge University and the Medical Research Council’s Institute of Hearing into the neuroscience of listening, and along the way gives the audience opportunities to participate in some specially designed auditory tests.
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