This term – We are preparing the African Sanctus by David Fanshawe. This is an interesting, rather quirky but seminal piece of 20th cent choral music, an early attempt at ‘fusion’ – mixing extracts of recorded music from Africa with composed ‘western choral style’. It predates the explosion of ‘Roots music’ – the shared interest and familiarity with indigenous world music and ‘crossover’ styles which mix it together. Below are links to a rather wooden performance from Poland which clearly shows what the set up is and how the choir sings with the recordings and the 1975 BBC documentary about the making of the piece – the quality is very poor but it gives some insight to David Fanshawe’s mission. There are a few decent CDs of the piece too.
African Sanctus links
Whole performance – Music starts at 7′ 30″!:
BBC 1975 Omnibus TV documentary. dreadful quality (bootleg recording probably) but shows how Fanshawe collected his material and inspiration. If you get as far as his comments about English traditional music (i.e. we’re losing it and no one knows any) – is he right?!