Cathy is a longstanding member of The Element Choir that draws singers from a broad spectrum of styles, from concert sopranos to singer songwriters to sound poets to Japanese folk singers, composers and musicians.
Christine Duncan and The Element Choir have developed a language of sound to draw from for improvisation. The group works with both structured and non-structured elements, based primarily on a system of conduction cues. As an ensemble they explore textural and timbral sound qualities, soundscapes, rhythmic patterns, sound poetry, musical genre interplay and extended voice techniques.
"The Element Choir...is an absolutely arresting experience. The singers improvise fearlessly and more like an orchestral ensemble than a traditional choir. The skills of individual members of the ensemble are employed to create solo lines that blend into the larger soundscape. The conductor and singers are co-creators, blending their skills and ideas in an improvised process that will never be repeated in the same manner." Benjamin Stein, The Whole Note
"When Tanya Tagaq, Jean Martin & Jesse Zubot lit into their set it was as if an intense arctic wind had blown into downtown Toronto's Carlu, howling...when Christine Duncan cued her 40+ voice Element improvising choir behind Tanya, the concert achieved liftoff, sounding like Penderecki's or Ligeti's music just entered the hall. " Andrew Timar, CBC Music
"Backed by (The Element Choir) and armed with out-there ideas on how to further traditional music, Tagaq avant-garded a crowd not easily gobsmacked." Brad Wheeler, Maclean's
"(I was) elevated by the choir. Giving control away is the heart of improv, (to be) within sound, to travel freely is liberating." Tanya Tagaq, interview on CBC Radio One, Q
"The 40 voice Element Choir under its director, Christine Duncan...is as adept at improvising as the other musicians, responding with astonishing unanimity, immediacy and sensitivity to Duncan's expressive hand gestures." Musical Toronto