The Squid's Ear Magazine

Kurka, Irene : Chants (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Soprano vocalist Irene Kurka performs two works works by Antoine Beuger, and one each by Christopher Fox, Eva-Maria Houben, and Thomas Stiegler, accompanied by Antoine Beuger on flute for his composition "Chants de Passage"; 5 beautiful, unhurried works that bring the delicate beauty of each compositions, and of Kurka's refined voice, to a resonant foreground.

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product information:

UPC: 4011778040880

Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 1710
Squidco Product Code: 24783

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Germany
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at at Munster, Heilbronn, Germany, on August 31st through September 3rd, 2015, by Thomas Hirschberg.


Irene Kurka-soprano vocals

Antoine Beuger-composer,flute

Christopher Fox-composer

Eva-Maria Houben-composer

Thomas Stiegler-composer

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Antoine Beuger
un lieu pour faire sonner l'éternité

(text: Antoine Beuger)

tu viendras
en m'attendant
et moi,
je t'attends

viens ...

d'où viens-tu?

je t'approche

je t'attends
je t'attends
je t'entends

Christopher Fox
too far: showing and telling

(text: Julian of Norwich (1342-1413), Revelations of Divine Love)

These revelations were shown to a simple creature in the year of our Lord 1373, on the eighth day of May. (p.42)

God sent me a bodily sickness, in which I lay for three days and three nights [...] and in the third night I often thought I was dying [...]
my sight began to fail and the room was dark all around me. (p.44)

Then I saw red blood [...] hot and fresh and very plentiful [...] as plentiful as the drops of water which fall from the eaves after a
heavy shower of rain [...] Behold and see! (p.60)

This place is a prison, and this life a penance [...] Let us fly to the Lord, touch him, and we will be made clean. (p.168)

And in this vision he showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of his hand.
I looked at it and thought, what can it be? And the answer came, it is all that is made. (p.7)

All this our Lord showed me with time and space to contemplate it.
And when the vision stopped, it remained in my understanding.
And I waited in fearful anticipation, rejoicing in what I saw. (p.52)

It is a joy and a delight and an endless happiness that I have suffered.
If I could suffer more, I would suffer more. (p.18)

It is joy and delight enough for me, and I ask nothing more of my hardship but I give you pleasure. (p.75)

Look at thy beloved servant. Look at what injury and distress she has received for love of thee. (p.116)

At one moment my consciousness was taken down to the seabed, and there I saw green hills and valleys,
looking as thought they were covered in moss, with seaweed and sand. (p.55)

And then I understood the greatest labour of all to be a gardener, toiling and sweating, making fresh water flow,
and noble, plentiful fruits spring up. (p.120)

And God showed me all this most gloriously with this meaning: See that I am God! See that I am in everything!
See that I do everything! (p.59)

And after this I soon returned to myself and to my bodily sickness, understanding that I would live,
and like a wretch I tossed and turned and thought it a great weariness that I should live longer. (p.32)

It is true that sin is the cause of all this suffering, but all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well. (p.80)

And soon after this it was all over and I saw no more. (p.155)

I pray to almighty God that this book come only into the hands of those who love him faithfully [...]
and beware that you do not take one thing according to your taste and fancy and leave another. (p.180)

(the page references are to the Penguin edition of Elizabeth Spearing's translation)

Thomas Stiegler
treibgut IV

(text: Unica Zürn, Berlin 1953-54)

Wir lieben den Tod

Rot winde den Leib,
Brot wende in Leid,
ende Not, Beil wird
Leben. Wir, dein Tod,
weben dein Lot dir
in Erde. Wildboten,
wir lieben den Tod

Antoine Beuger
chants de passage

(poems: Anne Perrier, from: La voie nomade et autres poèmes. Oeuvres complètes)

Lumière je te tiens
Déjà trouble
Joie désirée unique je te tiens
Ô monde sur deux tiges
Pour cueillir la fleur simple éternelle
Il faudra choir mortes les ailes
Dans la splendeur et l'ombre du vertige

Ô rompre les amarres
Partir partir
Je ne suis pas de ceux qui restent
la maison le jardin tant aimés
Ne sont jamais derrière mais devant
Dans la splendide brume

Moi l'envolée
J'ai perdu dans les airs la trace des oiseaux
Moi l'écoulée
En dormant j'ai perdue la voix
des passeurs d'eau
Je suis le chant qui s'en va tout seul
Entre terre et ciel

La paix des chrysalides
Est si profonde
Ce n'est pas l'ombre que je cherche
Ni l'humble signe
De la halte sous les palmiers
Tranquilles ni l'eau ni l'ange
Gardien d'oasis
Je cherche le chemin qui dure
Toujours toujours toujours

Je m'arrête parfois sous un mot
Précaire abri à ma voix qui tremble
Et qui lutte contre la sable
Mais où est ma demeure
Ô villages de vent
Ainsi de mot en mot je passe
À l'éternel silence

Le monde est si tranquille
Sous le feuillage de l'éternité

L'heure venue
pousser la porte du jardin
Sans larme traverser
L'espace de la rose
Et doucement glisser
De l'un à l'autre été

Artist Biographies

"Irene Kurka studied voice at the Musikhochschule Munich with Professor Reri Grist, at the Meadows School of the Arts (SMU,Dallas) with Professor Barbara Hill-Moore and at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) with Professor Nancy Hermiston.

The multifaceted soprano received many awards and scholarships. She sings recitals, opera and oratorio throughout Germany, Europe and the United States.

Within the realm of contemporary music, she is in great demand; many composers (Eggert, Corbett, Weeks, Muntendorf, Frey, Kampe, Seither, Brass, Beuger, Pisaro etc.) wrote and dedicated new creative output for her to perform as well as record. She has premiered over 140 pieces.

Since 2009 Irene Kurka has focussed intensively on the repertory for unacoompanied voice (Hildegard von Bingen, Nono, Berio, Cage, Bauckholt, Brass, Beuger, Stäbler, etc.) In 2012 she released a CD with music by Hildegard von Bingen and John Cage; this is a co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Wandelweiser Records. 2013 follows with another CD co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Wandelweiser Records; this CD considers the topic of "Prayer" and contains music by Brass, Beuger, Boon, Weeks, Corbett and Houben. After the acclaimed debut of her solo program "Prayer" at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, Irene Kurka has been invited to perform at hcmf//@ l'Auditori in Barcelona. Graham McKenzie, the festival director for both festivals in Huddersfield and Barcelona, was so impressed by the program that he is bring it to the Catalonian metropolis in October 2014.

Ms. Kurka sings with the ensembles e-mex, notabu, musikFabrik, Wandelweiser Ensemble, Klangkonzepte, Schlagquartett Köln, chronophonie, Kölner Vokalsolisten, La Tenerezza, socell 21 and SOPRAKKORDEON.

She has performed, among others, at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Kölner Philharmonie, Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Ungarischer Rundfunk Budapest, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, hcmf//@L'auditori Barcelona, Theater Dortmund, A.DEvantgarde-Festival München, Acht Brücken Festival Köln, Festival Muziek Biennale Niederrhein, scene österreich in nrw, Theater Osnabrück, Globusklänge WM 2006, Ensemblia Mönchengladbach, Randspiele Berlin-Zepernick, MOMENTSMUSICAUX AARAU, Hydra Festival Boston, Oberstdorfer Musiksommer, Greifswalder Bachwoche, Fränkischer Sommer, Neuburger Kammeroper, Bayreuther Barock, Trier OPENING."

-Irene Kurka Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Antoine Beuger (b. 1955 in Oosterhout, Netherlands) studied composition with Ton de Leeuw at Sweelinck Coservatorium in Amsterdam 1973-78. In 1990 he began composing after an interruption of about 10 years. Two years later he founded Edition Wandelweiser together with composer/performer Burkhard Schlothauer. Since 1994 he's been active with the conception and organisation of KLANGRAUM, a concert series at Kunstraum Düsseldorf. During the years 1995-2001 he was working together with visual artist Mauser as artistic director of "Werkraum", Place for Interdisciplinary Artistic Events, Cologne. Since 1996 he's been artistic director of edition wandelweiser records and since 2004 managing director of Edition Wandelweiser gmbh."

-Last.FM (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Christopher Fox (born 1955 in York) is an English composer.

He studied at the universities of Liverpool, Southampton and York, where his teachers included Hugh Wood and Jonathan Harvey. He received a PhD in composition from the University of York in 1984. From 1984 to 1994 he was a member of the composition staff at the Darmstadt New Music Summer School. He is currently Professor in Music at Brunel University, a post he took up in 2006. His music is widely performed, broadcast and recorded. He is also a prolific writer on music. In addition to concert works, Fox has collaborated with artists on gallery works, and with the poet Ian Duhig on a "musical box".

An important aspect of Fox's music is its stylistic breadth-whilst his principal considerations may seem to be with systems music and adopting a systematic approach, his music also serves a political function, is deeply rooted in the post-war Darmstadt traditions of applying psychological and intellectual models to the structure and content of music and at the same time exists in a world of diverse musical attitudes, including references to the popular arts, to historical music and to cross-cultural music. The stylistic range of his works is very aurally apparent and includes complex microtonal chamber works, large-scale modernist ensemble pieces, tape cut-up collages and minimalistic pieces for guitars and saxophones.

His writings on music have also been published widely, in the journals Contact (of which he was an editor), Contemporary Music Review, Musical Times and Tempo, and deal principally with new music, in particular experimental, minimalist and complex tendencies in American and European music. He was co-editor of Von Kranichstein zur Gegenwart (1996, DACO Verlag, Stuttgart), a history of 50 years of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and of Uncommon Ground: The Music of Michael Finnissy (1998, Ashgate Press, Aldershot)."

-Wikipedia (

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"Eva-Maria Houben (born 1955) studied Music Education at Folkwang-Musikhochschule Essen and the organ with Gisbert Schneider. Following her exams she taught both German and Music Education at Secondary School. She received her doctorate and postdoctoral lecturing qualification in musicology and was called for lectures at Gerhard-Mercator-Universität Duisburg and Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf. Since 1993 Professor Houben has been lecturing at Dortmund University`s "Institut für Musik und Musikwissenschaft", with both music theory and contemporary music as her focus. Up to now many books were published, concerning contemporary music, contemporary composers and traditional music, listened to with 'new ears'.

Eva-Maria Houben has been performing works for the organ for more than 30 years. As she is related to the "wandelweiser-group" of composers, her compositions are published by "edition wandelweiser", Haan. Her list of compositions up to now includes works for the organ, piano, clarinet, trombone, violoncello and other solo instruments, works for voice and piano, for wind and chamber ensembles, for orchestra and for voice and orchestra, works for choir ( She publishes on subjects of contemporary music (Steiner, PFAU, Edition Howeg, bis-label Oldenburg)."

-Eva-Maria Houben Website (

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"Thomas Stiegler

1966 born in Meschede (D)

1987-94 studied medicine in Cologne, Freiburg and Frankfurt

1991-94 studied composition in Freiburg with Immanuel Nunes and Matthias Spahlinger

since 1994 assistent doctor, since 2001 senior physician (internal medicine)

1997 1. prize at the International Composition Contest Boswil (CH)"

-Editions Wandelweiser (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Un Lieu Pour Faire Sonner L'eternite 8:40

2. Too Far: Showing And Telling 12:38

3. Images II 19:25

4. Treibgut IV 10:33

5. Chants De Passage 24:13

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Unusual Vocal Forms
Duo Recordings
Compositional Forms
New in Compositional Music

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Edition Wandelweiser Records.

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