Bill Drummond has been commissioned to create a work to celebrate the building of QUAD. Drummond’s work is part of his ongoing choir project The17. He has written a score to be performed by 1,700 residents of Derby. The score is entitledSLICE THROUGH DERBY
Drummond has worked with these 1,700 in 100 groups of 17 over May, June and July. Each of these groups of 17 are made up of a particular trade or other obvious grouping (17 taxi drivers, 17 midwives, 17 footballers etc). He has spent one hour working with each group. In that time he explained what The17 is and what their involvement was to be. He then rehearsed them and recorded their contribution. This recording has been used in the final part of the performance on 22 August 2008. The 100 recordings were mixed together to make one massive but minimalist choral piece. It only lasted for five minutes. All 1,700 of the contributing choristers were invited to the Market Place, on the evening of the 22 August 2008, where they heard the one and only play back of the performance they contributed to before it was deleted forever.
Each of the 100 groups of 17 were also asked to hold the same pose – nine standing in a line, eight seated in front, all facing the camera. For this they were expected to dress in the clothes of their trade. The 100 photographs were printed, mounted and displayed in QUAD. These photos measure 1 metre by 70 centimetres.
The 100 minutes of film were edited together to make one continuous film, screened on the BBC’s Big Screen in the Market Place.
The performance will be repeated in Derby in ten years time (2018) with 100 different groups of 17.