updated 8 March 2021
© Sally Trussler

Christopher Fox

British composer born 10 March 1955 in York.

Christopher Fox was born in England in 1955. He studied composition at the University of Liverpool with Hugh Wood and at the University of Southampton with Jonathan Harvey and Richard Orton, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in 1977. He continued his studies at the University of York, earning a doctorate in composition in 1984.

In 1981, Fox won the composition prize of the Performing Rights Society of Great Britain at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. From 1988 to 2003, he was president of the British section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). He was a member of the composition team at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt from 1984 to 1994, and a guest of the DAAD Kunstlerprogramm in Berlin in 1987.

Fox joined the music department of the University of Huddersfield in 1994, where he taught composition, before joining the music faculty of the University of Brunel in April 2006.

His compositions have been played and broadcast in many festivals including the BBC Promenade Concerts, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the London Ear Festival, the Soundwaves Festival Brighton, Ultraschall Berlin, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Acht Brücken, the Ultima Festival, and the Festival Transit.

Over the course of his career, Fox has developed close collaborations with performers such as the soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, the pianist John Snijders, the clarinetist Heather Roche, and the Apartment House and EXAUDI ensembles. He has also worked with The Clerks, the Ives Ensemble, the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, ensemble recherche, the Trio Scordatura, and the Arditti String Quartet.

His work seems to embrace the many possibilities open in contemporary music creation, with particular emphasis on new and alternative approaches to voice, instruments, and tuning systems. A 2016 book on his approach, Perspectives on the Music of Christopher Fox: Straight Lines in Broken Times, was published by Routledge.

Recordings of his music are available from Ergodos, HatHut, Metier Records, and NMC Recordings.

Christopher Fox writes regularly about music and has published articles in journals such as the Contemporary Music Review, the Musical Times, and Tempo. He was also co-editor of Von Kranichstein zur Gegenwart: A History of 50 Years of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse (1996, DACO Verlag, Stuttgart), and Uncommon Ground, a book on the music of Michael Finnissy (1998, Ashgate Press, London).


© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2020

Sources

Christopher Fox ; Grove Music Online.

  • Solo (excluding voice)
  • Chamber music
    • DaNCE for alto flute, clarinet, viola and cello (1980), 18 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Bewegung for three bamboo flutes (musical theater) (1981), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Reeling for clarinet and hi-hat cymbal (1983), 8 mn, The Fox Edition
    • aud dem Zweig for piccolo, glockenspiel and mandolin (1984), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Broadway Boogie for three English horns (or one English horn and tape) (1984), 9 mn, The Fox Edition
    • A Kind of Prayer for two pianos (1986), 35 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Heliotropes 7 for two clarinets and vibraphone (1986), 4 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Heliotropes1 for two violins (1985-1986), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Heliotropes 6 for string quartet (1987), 18 mn, The Fox Edition
    • stone.wind.rain.sun 2 for saxophone quartet (1989), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • stone.wind.rain.sun 4 for two clarinets (1989), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • stone.wind.rain.sun 1 for four trombones (or one trombone and one band) (1990), 9 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Clarinet quintet for clarinet, two violins, viola, cello (1992), 13 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Straight lines in broken times 2 for clarinet, violin and piano (1992), 11 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Oboe Quintet for oboe, two violins, viola and cello (1995), 15 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Pastoral for flute and piano (1996), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Chant suspendu for solo cello (with or without piano or tape) (1997-1998), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • The Art of Concealment for four percussionists (1997-1998), 8 mn, The Fox Edition
    • skin for violin, viola and cello (1998-1999), 19 mn, The Fox Edition
    • BLANK for three or more instruments, at least two of which can hold sound for up to 40 seconds (2002), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • KK for alto saxophone and percussion (2002), 7 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Canonic Breaks for six percussionists (2002-2003), 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Komposition mit schwarz, rot und gelb for percussion, accordion, piano and cello (2002-2003), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • 1-2-3 for string quartet (2005-2006), 15 mn, Composers Edition
    • Hidden Consequences for microtonal horn, trombone and microtonal tuba (2009-2010), 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • chambre privée for string quartet (2010-2011), 10 mn, Composers Edition
    • Susan's Reel for two cellos with BACH bows (2012), The Fox Edition
    • qui/nt/et for bass clarinet, trombone, electric guitar, cello and double bass (2012-2013), between 15 mn and 20 mn, Composers Edition
    • elec The Dark Road for string instruments, keyboard and electronics (2012-2013), 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • The Wedding at Cana (after the Master of the Spanish Kings) for string quartet (2013), 18 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Early One Morning for two wind instruments (2014), 6 mn 30 s, The Fox Edition
    • The Feeling of Remembering for four wind and / or string instruments (2014), 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec Other times, other places audio landscape with or without musicians (2015-2018), 52 mn, The Fox Edition
    • This is the wind 1 for violin, cello and piano (2017-2018), 16 mn, Composers Edition
    • Iron rain (dream-piece 18.vii.18) for electric guitar, aluphone (or bells) and piano (2018-2019), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec On tranquility for clarinet, accordion and sinusoidal sounds (2018-2019), 12 mn 30 s, The Fox Edition
    • This is the wind 2 for tenor saxophone, electric guitar and cello (2019-2020), 16 mn 30 s
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Etwas Leghaft for ensemble (1983), 16 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Heliotropes 2 for trumpet, trombone, harp, vibraphone and double bass (1986), 9 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Foreplay for flute, oboe, percussion, piano and cello (1988-1989), 8 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Leap like the heart for bass clarinet, trumpet, piano, percussion and double bass (1989), 18 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Heliotropes 3 for flute, oboe, two clarinets, bassoon and horn (1987-1990), 16 mn, The Fox Edition
    • The Science of Freedom for baroque flute, baroque violin, percussion, harpsichord and viola da gamba (1990), 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec Alarmed and Dangerous for trumpet, brass band and tape (1996), 35 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Themes and variations for set (1992-1996), 40 mn, The Fox Edition
    • My First Century for clarinet, trumpet, percussion, piano, violin and double bass (1997-1999), 13 mn
    • Shadow cast for six violins, two violas, two cellos, one double bass (2001), 14 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec Strangers in our midst for tenor saxophone, euphonium, accordion, banjo, cello with surveillance video and playback (1999-2001), 45 mn, The Fox Edition
    • an der Schattengrenze for ensemble (2001-2002), 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec ZONE (Zeit-Ort-Name) for ensemble and pre-recorded sounds (2002-2004), 25 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Chromascope for four or more instruments (2005), between 6 mn and 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • de Grote Muziek for ensemble (2004-2005), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Terra Incognita for set (2005), 25 mn, The Fox Edition
    • schwebende Zeit for clarinet, electric guitar, viola and cello (2005-2006), 18 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Hearing not thinking for ensemble (2006-2008), 15 mn, The Fox Edition
    • A study in daylight for oboe, horn, trumpet, harp and cello (2008-2009), 5 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Extended play for ensemble (2008-2009), 17 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Lines of desire for set (2009), 2 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Unreasonable Strains for six wind instruments (or multiple of six) and electric guitar with e-bow (2008-2009), between 15 mn and 20 mn, The Fox Edition
    • drift + drag for ensemble (2009-2010), 15 mn, The Fox Edition
    • schwarz-weiss for three to nine musicians (2008-2010), between 9 mn and 15 mn, Composers Edition
    • something to do with belief for clarinet, piano, electric guitar, percussion and cello (2008-2010), 24 mn, Composers Edition
    • Topophony for orchestra (with one, two or three improvising soloists) (2014-2015), between 12 mn and 20 mn, Composers Edition
    • Topophony for chamber orchestra (with one, two or three improvising soloists) (2016), between 12 mn and 20 mn, Composers Edition
    • Caoineadh for flute, clarinet, piano, violin and cello (2017), 15 mn, Composers Edition
  • Concert music
    • Les Doigts du Soleil for theorbo, with or without consort of instruments (2016-2018), between 8 mn and 15 mn, The Fox Edition
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • Too Far for soprano, piano, violin and cello (2006), 1 h 15 mn, Composers Edition
    • American Choruses for sixteen voices and two electric organs (1978-1981), 40 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Missa est for countertenor (or mezzo-soprano), tenor, four violas da gamba, rebec, recorder, portable organ, bells (1983), 22 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Ci-Gît for mezzo-soprano, bass clarinet, prepared piano (+ alto flute, viola, cello ad lib.) (1987), 16 mn, The Fox Edition
    • A-N-N-A Blossom-time for voice and piano (1987-1988), 22 mn, The Fox Edition
    • I Sing for the Muses and Myself for piano and voice ad lib. (1991), 3 mn
    • Louisiana for voice and piano (1991), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory for choir and instruments ad lib. (1992), 13 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Trummermusik for mezzo-soprano and hurdy-gurdy (1993), 13 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec In the Key of H for spoken voice, saxophone(s) and tape (1993-1998), 30 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Notes from a Cold Front for voice, recorder, lute and dulcimer (or equivalent instruments) (1996-1998), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Vanished Days for voice and piano (1995-1998), 12 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Everything You Need To Know installation for ensemble (up to 10 musicians) and vocals (1999-2001), between 10 mn and 1 h 25 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Partition for three male voices and three electric guitars (2004), 8 mn, The Fox Edition
    • She’s texting. He’s dancing. for three melodic instruments, optional voice, keyboard and wood-block (2004), 5 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec für Johannes Kepler for mezzo-soprano, viola and microtonal keyboard (2005-2007), 15 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec comme ses paroles for eight amplified voices, pre-recorded voices and amplified cello (2006-2008), 1 h 10 mn, The Fox Edition
    • The True Standard Advanced for voice and percussion (2008), 3 mn, The Fox Edition
    • elec Widerstehen chamber opera for mezzo-soprano, actress, ensemble and electronics (2009-2012), 45 mn, The Fox Edition
    • dolce… pianto for voice, viola and microtonal keyboard (2014), 4 mn, The Fox Edition
    • A Great Tree for female choir and piano (2016), 3 mn, The Fox Edition
    • She dreams, she dances for soprano and piano (2016), 22 mn, Composers Edition
    • In the shape of a rose for cello (with optional spoken voice) (2020, 2017-2018), 7 mn 40 s, The Fox Edition
    • Thirteen Songs About The Moon for soprano and accordion (2019), The Fox Edition
    • The air is just desire for soprano and string quartet (2020)
  • A cappella vocal music
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments
  • Unspecified instrumentation
    • darkly for four performers playing non-instruments and wine glasses (musical theater) (1981), 11 mn, The Fox Edition
    • 7 Serious Pieces (2000-2007), 35 mn about , The Fox Edition
    • elec A New Ocean for three musicians (minimum) and audio files (2018-2019), between 21 mn 36 s and 60 mn, The Fox Edition
    • Trace for one, two or three pairs of instruments (alto flute and vibraphone, violin and cello, bass clarinet and double bass) (2020)

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en mars 2021)

Bibliographie

  • Rose DODD (ed.), Perspectives on the Music of Christopher Fox, Straight Lines in Broken Times, Londres, Routledge, 2016.
  • Christopher FOX, « Why Experimental? Why Me? », dans The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music (James Saunders, ed.), Farnham, Ashgate, 2009, pp. 7–26.
  • Christopher FOX, « Hybrid Temperaments and Structural Harmony: A Personal History », Contemporary Music Review, 22/1–2, 2003, pp.123–139.
  • Ian PACE, « Northern Light », Musical Times, 139, 1998, pp. 33-44.
  • James SAUNDERS, Christopher FOX (entretien), « Chritopher Fox » dans The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music (James Saunders, ed.), Farnham, Ashgate, 2009, pp. 261-269.
  • James WEEKS « More Heat, More Light: Christopher Fox in Conversation », Tempo, 236, 2006, pp.13–19.

Discogaphie sélective

  • Christopher FOX, The Red Studio ; The Calm Of Mountains ; Worthless Leather ; You, Us, Me (Habañera) ; More Light ; Boat Song, John Snijders, piano, 1 cd ezz-thetics, 2020, 1018.
  • Christopher FOX, Topophony, WDR Sinfonieorchester,  direction : Ilan Volkov, 1 cd hat[now]ART, 2018, n° 211.
  • Christopher FOX, stone.wind.rain.sun ; Straight Lines In Broken Times⁴ ; …or Just After *;*Early One Morning ; Unlocking The Grid ; Escalation ; Headlong ; Divisions, Heather Roche, clarinette, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 2018, msv28573.
  • Christopher FOX, The Feeling of Remembering, Anton Lukoszevieze, violoncelle, 1 cd Ergodos, 2015, ER18.
  • Christopher FOX, Piano Works : L’ascenseur ;At The Edge Of Time; Thermogenesis *;*Republican Bagatelles, Philip Thomas, piano, 1 cd hat[now]ART, 2014, n° 192.
  • Christopher FOX, Für Johannes Kepler ; BLANK ; Trümmermusik: A Berlin Diary ; Generic Composition #8 ; Natural Science ; Sol-Fa Canon For Aldo Clementi, Trio Scordatura, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 2012, MSV 28526 .
  • Christopher FOX, Catalogue Irraisoné, EXAUDI, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 2009, MSVCD 92103.
  • Christopher FOX, Open The Gate ; A Glimpse Of Sion’s Glory ; The Missouri Harmony *;*Rendered Account ; American Choruses, EXAUDI, direction : James Weeks, 1 cd NMC Recordings, 2005, NMC D114.
  • Christopher FOX, Straight Lines In Broken Times (second Version) ;Etwas Lebhaft; Themes And Variations (Memento - A Bout de Souffle ;Tangled; Intersections - Traisse *;String Quartet);* Reeling, Ives Ensemble, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 2005, MSVCD 92081
  • Christopher FOX, Straight Lines In Broken Times ;Chant suspendu; Generic compositions #3, #4 & #5 *;*Inner, Anton Lukoszevieze, violoncelle, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 2001, MSV CD92059.
  • Christopher FOX, You, Us, Me, Ian Pace, piano ; Amanda Crawley, voix, 1 cd Metier Sound & Vision, 1999, MSV CD92031.
  • Christopher FOX, More Light, Ian Pace, piano, 1cd Metier Sound & Vision, 1998, MSV CD92022.