There is no more revealing a medium in music than the human voice. Coming from deep inside the body, carried on the breath, acquiring resonance in the head, shaped and channelled through the same mouth and lips through which we speak and with which we kiss – this sound, not filtered through wood, metal or gut, cannot be separated from the human being that made it. By the time it leaves the body, it is intrinsically, inextricably personal.
‘It is by far the most radical disc of vocal music I’ve encountered in a long time, an exploration that takes real risks both in terms of choice of repertoire as well as the pressures brought to bear on the singers themselves.’
5against4 (Full review here)
'listening to these albums in sequence – […] – one thing becomes clear: nothing here has anything to do with generic mainstream new music' The Wire
'The spirit may be experimental but the execution is polished, confident, persuading you that the performers really believe in their often provocative materials.' Gramophone
1 Aaron Cassidy: A painter of figures in rooms
2 James Weeks: Nakedness
3 Bryn Harrison: eight voices
4 - 8 Stephen Chase: Jandl Songs:
9 - 11 Joanna Bailie: Harmonizing (Artifical Environment no.7)
12 Richard Glover: Corradiction
13 Claudia Molitor: Iorem ipsum
Artist: EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble
ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE
Since its debut in 2002, EXAUDI has emerged as one of Britain’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano), EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest vocal talents. The ensemble typically works as a consort rather than a choir – usually one voice to a part, ranging from three to eighteen voices – and draws inspiration for its sound from that of early music ensembles, a strong but focused tone that is ideal for the performance of harmonically intricate contemporary music. Many EXAUDI programmes combine the new with the old, and the ensemble is equally in demand for its performances of music of the High Renaissance and early Baroque. EXAUDI’s special affinity is for the radical edges of contemporary music, at home equally with maximal complexity, microtonality and experimental aesthetics. The newest new music is at the heart of its repertoire, and it has given national and world premières of Sciarrino, Rihm, Finnissy, Fox, Posadas, Eötvös, Gervasoni, Skempton, Ayres, Pesson, Poppe, Fox and James Saunders among many others. Through its new commissioning scheme, EXAUDI is particularly committed to the younger generation of composers currently in their twenties and early thirties, and is proud to champion the work of major emerging voices including Aaron Cassidy, Evan Johnson, Bryn Harrison, Amber Priestley, Matthew Shlomowitz, Joanna Bailie, James Weeks and Claudia Molitor.
All the pieces were recorded at Tonbridge Scholl Chapel on 13 & 20-21 August 2012.
Engineer Andrew Post, Vif Records
Producer Aaron Cassidy
Editing Andrew Post (Tracks 2-9, 13-14) and Aaron Cassidy (Tracks 1, 10-12)
This recording was made possible through a generous grant from the University Research Fund of the University of Huddersfield. Additional thanks are due to the University of Huddersfield Music Studios/Huddersfield Immersive Sound System (HISS) for providing some of the equipment used in the recording.