Kristen Loree & Jack Ox: Schwitters’ Ur Sonata

Co-presented by Subtext Reading Series and Nonsequitur.

The Dada intermedia artist Kurt Schwitters‘ epic Ur Sonata is arguably the great sound poem to emerge from the various experimental art movements of the early 20th century. Structured in a classic four-movement sonata form (plus introduction, finale, and cadenza), the work explodes language (German) and recasts the fragments as a primal verbal music of disjointed syllables and phonemes.

This performance of the Ur Sonata merges two distinct approaches to the material. Actress and vocalist Kristen Loree gives a tour de force performance of the complete text, set against a backdrop of projections by visual artist Jack Ox. The images are derived from Ox’s translation of the poem into a series of paintings that run continuously for 800 feet. Loree will also perform By Language Embellished: I, a work for solo actor/percussionist by composer Stuart Saunders Smith.