Cantata Profana is a six screen video and sound installation focusing on the physicality of extreme metal vocalists and the ability of their voices to immerse a listener and transcend both the individual performer and group.
Cantata Profana takes the form of an amphitheatre of video screens presenting a new musical composition, created in partnership with British composer Orlando Gough, artist and musician Tim Kerr and six grindcore vocalists. Cantata Profana interweaves extreme metal music culture with classical choral traditions, to create an unexpected union. The intense sounds and body movements of the vocalists, together with the backdrop of the outdated German Democratic Republic radio studio in which the piece was ﬁlmed, all contribute to the atmosphere of this unique and enveloping work.
Stokes’ practice has developed from a long-standing enquiry into events and beliefs that shape people’s lives and identities. Music, its history, subcultures and socio-political eﬀects often provides the catalyst for researching and forming collaborative relationships with musicians, writers, actors, com- posers and communities, bringing together their interests, knowledge and skills in potentially conﬂicting situations. By exploring the resulting ex- changes of ideas, the ﬁnal outcomes challenge our assumptions and under- standing about speciﬁc scenes or chosen ways of living.
Cantata Profana was originally commissioned by Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Germany, produced by Forma Arts with support from De Hallen Haarlem, Netherlands and Arts Council England. It has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; De Hallen Haarlem; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; CAAC , Seville; and Dilston Grove, London.
The vocalists featured in Cantata Profana include: Anders Bakke (She Said Destroy, Norway), Chris Butterworth (Kastrated, UK), Dente (Rompeprop, Netherlands), Alex Hughes (Hatred Surge, USA), Alex Jockel (Krupskaya, UK), Der Kurt (Paroxysm, Germany).