This week, New York’s Museum of Modern Art is opening its first major exhibition of sound art, “Soundings: A Contemporary Score”. Through November 3rd, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in auditory pieces designed by sixteen of the most innovative contemporary artists working with sound.
Not to be outdone, on September 10th the Metropolitan Museum of Art will present Janet Cardiff’s “Forty-Part Motet”, pictured above. This first foray into sound by the Met (to be installed in Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters) combines forty separately-recorded voices from forty loudspeakers into a 16th century choral ensemble, a synthesis that the New York Times notes has brought visitors to tears. The Times also provides audio clips from the MOMA exhibition, noting that “while you can close your eyes to an image you hate, you can’t close your ears to a noise”—a risk without a parallel in the visual arts.