New SATB Choral Work – “Bennington” by Keane Southard
“Bennington” for 12-part cappella SATB Choir is an experimental work and was an exercise in giving up control of the aspect of music I am most attached to, which is harmony. In the work, I don’t give any specific pitches at all but let the singers choose any pitch in their upper, middle, or low range of their voice at any given time, while all the other musical aspects are still tightly controlled by me. While the singers don’t need to worry about finding the “right” pitch, they are challenged to hold whatever pitches they do choose against the other singers’ pitches without “correcting” them, no matter how dissonant or wrong they might feel. The result is that the harmonies are always unexpected, shifting, and different in each performance.
The work can be performed by 12 singers or any multiple of 12 to maintain evenness on all parts.
The work was premiered by students at the Eastman School of Music, conducted by Connor Doran.
Listen to a recording, watch a “scrolling score” video, preview the full score, and purchase scores via the link below.