This piece was arranged after a long period of experimentation and improvisation with a small choir of specialist singers. The result was a piece which recreates vocally the various sounds made by, in and around a Honda Civic (as filmed for the advert) by using specific syllables, dynamics and mouth shapes, alongside body percussion (‘chest thumps’, tapping teeth etc). ALL the sounds for the advert were made with the human body.
The eventual choir used for the advert was a 60-piece ensemble comprising 34 men and 26 women (10 sopranos, 16 mezzo sopranos/altos, 8 tenors, 13 baritones and 9 basses) split into 6 sub-choirs as follows:
Choir 1: 5 sopranos (at least two able to sing down to G# in alto), 4 baritones
Choir 2: 5 sopranos, 4 baritones
Choir 3: 5 mezzo-sopranos, 4 tenors
Choir 4: 5 mezzo-sopranos, 4 tenors
Choir 5: 9 basses (at least two able to sing low Bb)
Choir 6: 6 mezzo-sopranos, 9 baritones
It is essential that all the choirs agree on how every sound in the score is created by discussing the way in which that sound is made, (the shape of the mouth, position of the lips and tongue, choice of consonant and vowel etc). The descriptions of the various sounds may seem to be very similar, but the minor differences between them (e.g., ‘v’ sounds rather than ‘fffff’ sounds) were very specifically chosen to give the desired effect.
More information on the performance of this piece, and the process of rehearsal for the original advert can be found at www.honda.co.uk/civic