Recorded in London, July 28th 2011.
Urtext is part of my Catalogue irraisoné, a collection of 12 pieces for solo voice which I wrote between 1999 and 2000. In turn Catalogue irraisoné is part of my ensemble installation Everything You Need to Know. I wrote ‘Urtext’ as an hommage to Kurt Schwitters; I often perform his Ursonate and wanted to write a shorter study on ‘Urlauten’ for those occasions when there wasn’t time to perform Schwitters’ work in its entirety.
Christopher Fox (b.1955) is a composer who sometimes writes about music too. He has established a reputation as perhaps the most interesting British composer of his generation, creating music which draws on elements of the experimental, spectral and minimalist traditions. Innately independent, he has chosen to conduct his compositional career at a tangent to the mainstream music industry, basing it instead around close collaborations with a number of performers, most notably the clarinettist Roger Heaton, the Ives Ensemble, Apartment House and their director Anton Lukoszevieze, and EXAUDI. He lives in London with his wife Susan and is Professor in Music at Brunel University.
The first of two wax cylinders recorded in Christopher Fox’s front room in North London. Although the subsequent version (recorded with a glass diaphragm) is less distorted, his performance on the first attempt has the edge.