Notes on LITANY by the Trope Troupe

The musical composition "Litany" is an attempt at imagining, non-literally, how choir boys might communicate and substantiate their awful plights within the genre of Christian Church music. This globally accepted music that glorifies violence, bad behaviour, and bad decision making: crucifictions, human and animal sacrifices, murderous familial envy, falls from grace and folly with fruit.

Originally the piece was to be in Latin, Google Latin, but when embarking on the actual task of making a work that can speak to the world, it became obvious that Internet English was the best starting point. Most of the material used in this piece was formed from reading (Bibliography), watching films (Filmography), found on the Internet, some as personal statements in forums and others as reported in newspapers (The Press and Forums).

Litany (Etymology) - the boys in the choir make personal statements, which are amalgamations of many related experiences condensed to create four narratives, and the choir returns with vocal responses, extended chants and canons.

The original musical vehicle is Peter Hurford's "Litany to the Holy Spirit", which was performed and recorded by the Trope Troupe Vocaloid Choir as reference (Reference Works). The Hurford organ accompaniment is used almost continuously as background to the piece.

The technology (Vocaloid) of software based singers enables a composer to experiment freely with voices normally out of their range. For the artist it means a voice can be given to someone who has no voice. Words from adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse can be sung as if by a child. What might be uneasy to hear from an adult becomes quite unbearable apparently from a child, but they are robots, mechanical devices. In "Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse: A Sensitive Biblical Guide for Counselors" by Lynn Heitritter & Jeanette Vought a statement reads "... chorus of voices of little boys, now men, speaking up about their abuse ..." this about sums it up.

Due to the Vocaloid device limitations (and listeners' lurid imaginations) it has been found beneficial to provide video with the sung text provided visually as the work progresses. Some words have been changed because the Vocaloids couldn't pronounce them! "Tonio" cannot say "doubts" - dauwts or doobts being his rather pathetic approximation (he is mixed down in the Hurford piece presented here). Other words were changed as it seemed unlikely that a boy would say them; "unconscionable" has become, more simply "devastating".

July 2017