Vox Regula

Year of composition: 2016
Instrumentation: soprano, clarinet
Duration: 12’00

Commissioned by the City of Reutlingen (Kompositionsauftrag der Konzertreihe musica nova der Stadt Reutlingen)

Premiere: NOISE-BRIDGE duo (Christie Finn, soprano, and Felix Behringer, clarinet)
Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Reutlingen
April 20, 2016

Score excerpt


This work is in seven parts without pause, consisting of four variations on a 2-voice organum that are separated by three interludes, respectively. The 10th-century organum being used as source material, based on the antiphon Sancte Bonifati Martyr, was a very recent discovery (credited to Italian musicologist Giovanni Varelli) that made ripples across the music community by shedding new light on the origins of polyphonic practice, quickly earning recognition as perhaps the earliest known piece of polyphonic music. Particularly revealing was the organum’s experimentation with form and its breaking of assumed rules rather than adhering to the contrapuntal conventions of its day, suggesting a practice that existed outside of contemporaneous music treatises. The borrowed texts featured in the interludes of Vox Regula¬†are drawn from various epochs and schools of musical thought from the last two centuries, which together amount to a sort of meditation on the place of theory with regard to musical practice and vice-versa.



Manhattan School of Music, New York (Oct. 13, 2016)
UMBC, Baltimore (Oct. 12, 2016)
GEDOK, Stuttgart (July 14, 2016)