WORKS: Inner; Generic Composition No.3; Generic Composition No. 4; Generic Composition No. 5; Chant suspendu; Straight Lines in Broken Times³
PERFORMER: Anton Lukoszevieze (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: MSV CD 92059
The first striking thing about Christopher Fox’s Straight Lines in Broken Times³ is its illusion of timbre that conveys the aspiration of an ethnic woodwind instrument – a breathy bamboo flute perhaps – through the medium of cello harmonics cast in cunningly related microtonal tunings. The second is its sense of linked progress sustaining an arc of bounded tension through its eight minutes of ‘broken’ timing. The fact that there are also three other pieces by Fox that share this title invites curiosity about them, no less so than about this always intriguing and boldly imaginative figure.
Inner, at 45 minutes the longest work on this solo cello collection, and separately tracked for scrutiny of its 31 sections, reveals much about Fox’s exploration of the intimate bond between player and audience. True, this format denies you visual access to the performer, yet it’s all there in the music’s sense of quirky narrative. chant suspendu turns the delicate tunings of Straight Lines into dark and massy resonance. Most fascinating of all are three ‘generic’ pieces, for unspecified plucked, bowed and sliding instruments, where cellist Anton Lukoszevieze makes his mark on the compositional process, quite as the composer himself intended. Nicholas Williams