Roger Marsh

Not a Soul But Ourselves...


Roger Marsh (b. 1949)
Marsh studied music composition at the University of York, from which he received a doctorate in 1975. His principal composition teacher was Bernard Rands. Following graduation, he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship and spent two years as an Associate Fellow at the Center for Music Experiment and Related Research at the University of California at San Diego, whose Director at the time was Roger Reynolds, another composer featured on Bronze by Gold. Returning to England, Marsh taught composition at the University of Keele, serving as the head of the music department from 1975-1978. Currently he is on the faculty of the University of York, where he co-founded the Centre for Japanese Music in 1990. In 1993 he and his wife Anna Myatt founded Black Hair, a contemporary musical ensemble taking its name from a Japanese ghost story and dedicated to the works of modern masters such as Schoenberg, Webern, Stravisnky, and Berio.
Roger Marsh's extensive catalogue features a number of music theatre pieces as well as more traditional concert works. Influenced by Samuel Beckett and Japanese Noh drama, Marsh's theatrical work has a keen sense of humor. His affinity for Joyce goes beyond the musical -- Marsh produced the Naxos Audiobook versions of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake, as well as abridging the texts for recording. The Naxos Audiobook of Wake also includes an excerpt from Not a Soul But Ourselves...

Joyce:

Not a Soul but Ourselves... -- (1977) For two female and two male voices with independent amplification, this a capella piece utilizes texts from the ALP chapter of Finnegans Wake.

Beckett:
(Will be developed in the future on Apmonia, the Libyrinth's Beckett site.)

PS -- (1971) For female voice, double bass, and trombone

Bits and Scraps -- (1979) For soprano, alto, tenor, bass, technician/vocalist, and light; alternate version for actor/vocalist and tape.

Links/CDs/Sound Samples

Roger Marsh maintains an official Homepage from the University of York.

Naxos Audiobooks has a page that contains an essay by Marsh on Finnegans Wake. You must access their main page and then search using "Roger Marsh." The essay, "The Purest Blarney You Never Heard," is also available on the Brazen Head.

The Brazen Head's Audio Pages contain information about Marsh's productions of Joyce on tape.

There are no Roger Marsh pieces currently available on CD, however you may purchase Roger Marsh-produced Joyce "Books on Tape" online from Amazon.com below. The Naxos version of Finnegans Wake -- which must be ordered directly from Naxos -- contains excerpts from Not a Soul But Ourselves...

Ulysses (Naxos)
James Joyce / Audio Cassette / Published 1995

Ulysses (Naxos)
James Joyce / CDs / Published 1995

--Bill Winter
& A. Ruch
9 January 2001
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