DATING back to the time of performing in auditoriums, choirs have always managed to project their sound and fill a venue.

But rather than an audience surrounding the vocalists, what in the crowd were placed in the heart of the performance and surrounded by music?

This is what Armonico Consort and The Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge aims to deliver at the Anvil.

Their Supersize Polyphony 360 will immerse the audience in the sound of 40 different voices singing 40 different parts all at the same time.

The programme features epic motets, such as Tallis' Spem in Alium and Striggio's Ecce Beatam Lucem, alongside the rarely performed 60 part Missa Ecco Si Beato Giorno. Interspersed with the serene beauty of ethereal chants by Hildegard of Bingen.

This may sound like a daring tasking but for artistic director Christopher Monks it is just bringing back an old tradition.

He said: “The original idea came from performances from more than 500 years ago.

“The idea was that the listener was surrounded by the sound and we want to bring 40 signers all signing 40 completely different parts in harmony.

“It just make you feel like your body and ears are being massaged by the music coming from all different directions. “

Even though the performance is an immersive one for the audience, it has not been easy putting everything together for Monks.

As the conductor it is his role to make sure all the parts of the performance are working together seamlessly.

He added: “From a conductor’s point of view it can be very scary as you are right in the middle, so from a performance point of view if the singers are using their ears too much and aren’t paying attention to what I’m doing things the whole thing could fall apart.”

In preparing for the performance Monks has been hard at work trying to work out the logistics of this mammoth task.

“I have transformed my kitchen into my rehearsal space,” added Monks.

“I’ve become a bit of a mad man and have named all the appliances in my kitchen. So my toaster is choir seven, the spatulas are choir 12 and so on.”

For more information and tickets for the performance on Saturday, 7 July visit