In 1998 leading contemporary British composer Christopher Fox began work on a new commission, a piece that was to be ’evening-long, and not a concert’. The result was the quasi-dramatic ’installation piece’ Everything You Need to Know - a body of musical material which can be deployed in many different ways. Fox realised that the work needed a guide - a parallel version of the same ideas in a different form, rather like the ’catalogue raisoné’ at an art exhibition. Thus was born a series of pieces for solo voice, as recorded here for the first time under the supervision of the composer and with his appearance as narrator. The sections are based on a series of multiligual texts from various sources including Virgil, Dante, tourist guides and essays. The ’catalogue’ is about ideas, remembrance and the possibility of improbable connections. In itself as a sound work it is absolutely and positively unique.
Recording of the Month
"...Overall, this is a highly engaging and fascinating work, which has enormous appeal. Fox’s well constructed melodic lines and timbral variation provide an excellent overview of different aspects of the human voice. The overall structure of the work leads the listener through a series of fascinating musical tableaux. The performance by Exaudi is exemplary and standards of production are equally high. Not to be missed."
Carla Rees - musicwebinternational.com - July 2011
“Christopher Fox’s Catalogue irraisoné , for solo voice or vocal ensemble, teeters on the edge of music. each piece seems little more than a precisely annotated index card for something of more weight, housed somewhere else. Their collection hints at an inscrutable culture, with its own rituals and strange art. This world hides itself behind a peculiar bureaucracy, but its threat still permeates even the most objective utterances. EXAUDI bring the disinterested commitment of the archivist or bibliographer, leaving the mystery and meaning of this music to us to uncover.”