Meara O'Reilly - Hockets for Two Voices
Meara O'Reilly’s Hockets for Two Voices is brief and broad, spanning just over ten minutes across seven parts. In its earliest versions, parts of Hockets were commissioned by Tauba Auerbach (a photo of whose sculpture adorns the jacket) for a performance at The Kitchen in NYC in 2016; and was performed and recorded in its entirety in Los Angeles in 2017-2018.
Hocketing is a demanding practice of sharing a single melody between many voices in alternating notes, characteristic of medieval European music but also present in indigenous folk traditions. O’Reilly approaches this technique from a childhood immersion in classical music, a young adulthood in the experimental and noise world, and a more recent return to the discipline of composing orchestral music.
This synthesis is demonstrated with precision and singularity in Hockets, a playful and impressive expression of vocal dexterity joining mature musical traditions with a younger avant-garde and popular history of stereo panning, perception puzzling abstraction and psychoacoustic research pioneered by Albert Bregman, “who demonstrated how the limits of our perceptual processes can actively shape our experience of music.” Written for two performers, O’Reilly sings both parts in this recording, a labor requiring one year to execute. The results are presented with care by Cantaloupe.