Sonic Architecture: Exploring Minnesota Through Sound

Minnesota is a land of beautiful spaces: from modern cities to rolling prairies, from dense forests to lakes large and small. And within all of those lovely lookouts there exist spaces of sound.

Sonic Architecture — a collaboration between Classical Minnesota Public Radio and Cantus, Classical MPR's 2010-2011 Artists-in-Residence — is a sound-based exploration of Minnesota's spaces. MPR cameras and microphones will venture into environments across Minnesota as each one is brought to life by the voices of a world-class vocal ensemble.

Imagine the majestic echoes beneath the limestone bluffs of St. Paul, or the gentle lapping of water filling the space between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles; the unexpected reverberation inside empty grain barges hauling on the Mississippi, or the breathtakingly silent sound of winter's first snowfall. Now imagine these settings and many more commingling in a rich tapestry of soundscape and song, where Minnesota itself becomes the concert hall. That's Sonic Architecture.

Map / Video / Audio / Suggest a Location

Click an icon on the map for Cantus' Sonic Architecture performance for that location.


Soudan Underground Mine

Cantus sing in the Soudan Underground Mine near Tower, MN.

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State Capitol Rotunda

Cantus sing in the Rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol.

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Wabasha Street Caves

Gangsters, mushrooms, and Cantus. Singing in the caves.

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MPR News Story »

Lake of the Isles Bridge

The men of Cantus take their voices under a bridge.

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MPR News Story »

Walker Art Center: Sky Pesher

The unique reverb of this sculpture can only be described as magical.

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MPR News Story »

MPR Stairwell

Cantus performs in a not-so-likely MPR space.

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MPR News Story »

We invite you to join us in this sensory exploration.

And if you are inspired, take part in the conversation about the hidden, overlooked, unnoticed or even very public spaces that reverberate around you by leaving us a suggestion for a place we haven't yet noticed.

We look forward to sharing Minnesota with you in a way none of us has never heard it before.


Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre

Sky Pesher Improvisation

Envoyons d'l'Avant Nos Gens - Traditional Paddling Song, arr. Otis

Bridge Improvisations

Bridge Improvisations (Call and Response)

Pretty Saro

Rocky Improvisation (Caves)

O Magnum Mysterium

Jewett - RFM Mann

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Mn Legacy Fund The Classical MPR Artist-in-Residence Program is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

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