Juxtavoices challenge the concept of music

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Todprov’s fourth concert of adventurous music brings Sheffield’s 36-voice ‘anti-choir’ to The Golden Lion (June 25, 8pm), supported by an unusual trio.

Juxtavoices comprises 36 mostly untrained voices whose repertoire includes members’ own compositions as well as arrangements of classic modernist poems and found texts. The scores provide structure but freedom of pitch allows improvisation, so that no two performances are ever the same.

Audiences are unfailingly surprised by their sound. This is singing on the edge of not-singing or vice versa, a music only previously heard in a sound-poet’s dreams. Directed by Martin Archer and Alan Halsey, Juxtavoices uniquely combines the outer reaches of improvised music and innovative poetry.

David Birchall (guitar), T.H.F. Drenching (dictaphone) and Phillip Marks (drums) bring both skill and playfulness to their music, which they describe as “stretched between freedom and necessity like an electric fence.” They are immensely experienced and inventive musicians whose work ranges from the dramatic to the delicate.