Hear a Choir Sing Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ in Tribute to Chris Cornell
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Toronto singing ensemble Choir! Choir! Choir! has offered a rendition of the Soundgarden hit “Black Hole Sun” as a tribute to frontman Chris Cornell, in advance of the singer’s private memorial service May 26.
The choral group amassed 225 people to perform the song, which soared to the upper reaches of the Modern Rock chart in 1994 after being released as a single from Soundgarden’s breakthrough Superunknown LP. While the group enjoyed crossover success with other songs, “Black Hole Sun” became their signature hit, and remains a widely remembered reference point for the band’s multi-platinum period.
For Choir! Choir! Choir!, paying homage to Cornell after his shocking death serves as a lovely way to underscore the group’s unofficial mission — bringing together people from all walks of life to share the power of music in public spaces. “People wanted to connect. People love singing. There are a million studies that talk about it,” co-founder Nobu Adilman told the New Yorker in a 2016 profile piece on the group. “And then these pop songs. We attach so much meaning to these songs.”
The sound of so many voices uniting is powerful regardless of the context, but this Choir! Choir! Choir! performance obviously takes on a deeper meaning because of the situation — and in addition to being Soundgarden’s best-known song, it has an eerie ambiguity that Cornell himself was never really able to explain.
“It creates a feeling, but I can’t tell you specifically what it is about. And if I can’t, how is somebody else going to connect to it? Maybe it’s just open enough that people can make it a soundtrack to their moment,” Cornell told Uncut. “I understand it even less now, and I’m baffled by what other people think about it.”
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