It probably goes without saying, but the above clip is intended for mature audiences due to language.
Vice is not a magazine usually associated with new music coverage, yet pre-show buzz for The Nouveau Classical Project’s Sacred-Profane concert showed up on their pages (complete with score samples, no less).
Of course, being able to put “cunt-punt cantata” in the headline probably paved some of that PR road. The April 9 and 10 program featured the premiere of Vin Calianno’s Sororatorio: a Cuntata, a six-section setting of the famed, absurdly vulgar 2013 email lashing delivered by then-Delta Gamma chapter president Rebecca Martinson. The 885-word missive covered her…displeasure with the behavior of her sisters at recent social events, tearing them down using Tarantino-level profanity.
In the weeks after the email first went public, the jokes and spoofs were myriad, including this interpretive reading by actor Michael Shannon for Funny or Die.
Sororatorio, scored for Pierrot plus percussion (though in this case the percussion included a few vuvuzelas) could have been just a gimmick. And in the non-pejorative sense it was! The packed-in stylish crowd gathered in the black box space for the performance was buzzing with anticipation before the show opened with Marina Kifferstein’s arrangements of movements from Ockeghem’s Missa Prolationum, plus Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Chrysalis and Nina C. Young’s Meditation and Void. While waiting for things to get going, composers near my chair were debating just how Calianno would manage to set “cunt punt” anyway. If you missed the show yourself and need to have your curiosity sated, that clip is below.
NCP has plans to take this work on tour, and while the ensemble—particularly vocalist Amanda Gregory—deserve props for the premiere performance, with so many dramatic elements to play with, future performances are bound to offer opportunities for all sorts of interpretive play.