News from nowhere

for voices (SATB)

Christopher Fox

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Composer Christopher Fox
Year of Composition 2021
Duration ca.5'
Instrumentation Satb Choir
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-cf1nfn1

Notes

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In 1516 Thomas More published his Utopia, in which a traveller, Raphael Hythlady, describes the society he has encountered on the island of Utopia. News from nowhere sets two passages from the final section of Hythlady’s account, mostly in the Latin of More’s original publication but once in Ralph Robinson’s 1551 English translation:

hic ubi nihil privati est, serio publicum negotium agunt, certe utrobique merito.
(Here, where nothing is private, the common affairs be earnestly looked upon.)

hic, ubi omnia omnium sunt nemo dubitat—curetur modo, ut plena sint horrea publica—nihil
quicquam privati cuiquam defuturum. neque enim maligna rerum distributio est, neque inops,
neque mendicus ibi quisquam. et cum nemo quicquam habeat, omnes tamen divites sunt.
(All things are common to every man, and the public stores are full, so no man shall lack any
thing. Nothing is distributed unequally, neither is there any poor man or beggar. Though no
man has anything, yet every man is rich.)

News from nowhere is in eight sections – news bulletins from Utopia – in the last of which the three upper voices sing fragments of folk music from the island, set to Hythlady’s name in Latin, Hythlodaeus.

News from nowhere was written in April 2021 to a commission from Ex Corde and premiered by them, directed by Paul Gameson, on 30th May 2021 in the church of St. John of Beverley as part of the Beverley Early Music Festival.