90.5 WUOL presents “Tallis and Tech: A Virtual Reality Choral Experience” on Saturday, April 7 at 21c Museum Hotel, located at 700 W Main St. Visitors will have access to the 360 degree video in the main floor video gallery at 7 p.m., an introduction and discussion to Thomas Tallis and Spem in alium with John Hale, UofL’s director of liberal studies, begins at 8 p.m. in the atrium. Admission is free.

In 1570, English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) set out to write a new musical work, in what could be considered an early experiment in surround sound. Using a Latin text from the Sarum Rite, Tallis composed the motet Spem in alium for 40 individual voices, who would stand in a horseshoe shape around the audience or congregation. The music is composed in such way that the melodies and harmonies passed through the choir encircle the listener, creating spatial effects that seem centuries ahead of its time.

90.5 WUOL partnered with the Louisville Chamber Choir and Kent Hatteberg to pair Tallis’ masterpiece with 21st century technology: VR/360 video and sound. 90.5 WUOL’s team recorded Tallis’ Spem in alium, sung by the Louisville Chamber Choir, in Louisville at 21c Museum Hotel, St. James Catholic Church, and the elevator of the Brown Hotel. The result is a remarkable new way to experience some of the world’s oldest music.

Light refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.

The 360 degree video will remain available online at and the WUOL Facebook page following the event.

This event is made possible with support from 21c Museum Hotel, with special thanks to C. Michael Stewart for providing the camera, and Ben Sollee and Tin Ear Productions for providing microphones. The video is produced by Tyler Franklin with audio production by Chris Kincaid. The executive producer is Daniel Gilliam.