spilled out from tangles
spilled out from tangles invites the listener into an intimate space, to take a seat beside the singer, and to pause; to visit four delicate soundworlds, each of which explores in its own way the intimacy and physicality of the human voice. These four pieces were written for Juliet Fraser over the past five years. As a collection, they represent a partial survey of the solo repertoire for voice and tape/electronics I have been building in recent years, but also of a generation’s compositional approach to the voice. Displaying an understated lyricism, these composers’ approaches show the breadth of creative possibility for crafting a sonic environment for the voice to inhabit.
Lisa Illean writes music of extreme sensitivity and refinement, of shifting shades and wide-open spaces. A through-grown earth combines voice and pre-recorded lines for harp, strings, voice, electronic material and retuned zithers, resulting in an undulating texture that gently turns between microtonal modes and non-tempered tunings. Heave, by Sivan Eldar, is a work that questions the boundaries between matter and forms, and that tells a story of growth: out of the earth, into one’s own body and, finally, memory, blurring all distinctions as the protagonist slips from earth into skin, body into light. Nomi Epstein describes collections for Juliet as ‘a recording project piece for voice created from a detailed set of instructions and a small catalogue of ‘collections’ of three or four glissandi. A great richness emerges from this material through the detail heard at the micro-level and an overwhelming physicality is evident as the voice painstakingly rises and falls. Lawrence Dunn uses a twelve-note Just Intonation tuning system in While we are both, combining voice with fixed media that constantly drifts, reflecting perhaps the states (waking, awake, asleep) and times of day (light, morning, dark) found in Caitlin Doherty’s text. The effect is an uncanny combination of blazing harmonic brightness overlaid with long, aqueous ripples.
Soprano Juliet Fraser has a repertoire dominated by the very old and the very new. Juliet is an active commissioner of new music and has worked particularly closely with composers Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Lang, Michael Finnissy, and Cassandra Miller. She regularly performs as a guest soloist with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik, Ensemble Modern, Plus-Minus, and Talea. Juliet is a core member and co-founder of EXAUDI vocal ensemble as well as the founder and artistic director of the eavesdropping series and symposium in London.
1 Lisa Illean - A through-grown earth
2 Sivan Eldar - Heave [solo version]
3 Nomi Epstein - collections for Juliet
4 Lawrence Dunn - While we are both
Artists: Juliet Fraser soprano
Cat # HCR23CD
All tracks recorded at City, University of London on 23-24 November 2019 & 19 January 2020
MARK KNOOP Producer & Editing
NEWTON ARMSTRONG Recording Engineer & Mastering
Release date: 24 April 2020