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The ears of Mr Tuer

First line:
Full many a year in middle row
composer

 
I never met Mr Tuer. He lived and worked in London from the middle of the nineteenth century, first as a stationer and then as editor of his own press. He is described by his contemporaries as an ‘omniverous collector’ so I imagine his house in Notting Hill full of objects telling tales of the oddities of London’s life, bric a brac, books, china, silver, stuffed dogs, ear pieces, oriental carpets,clocks and coloured glass.

Mr Tuer had a slightly random approach to his life and work, which included for him an interest in preserving aspects of London that he felt were disappearing. His collection of Old London Street Cries takes in nearly 400 years of songs and cries not just from hawkers and sellers of foods and goods from stinking fish to coffins, but also from sellers of services, the letter writers, barbers and rat catchers. I liked that his “collecting” took him to the streets to capture the sounds and melodies of the market singers.

The song doesn’t attempt to recreate the sound of the streets as Mr Tuer’s ears might have encountered them, with the melodies and cries mingling and fighting for the ear’s attention, as I wrote it in a more controlled way drawn mostly to the sound of the words themselves “jemmies, coxcombs, bloods”, setting them without a narrative in three parts in three simple verses which feature a different part in each verse. Not very modern in style but then, neither was Mr Tuer.

from notes by Stephen Deazley © 2010

Recordings

Britten: A Ceremony of Carols; Poston: An English Day-Book
Studio Master: SIGCD228Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Track 25 on SIGCD228 [3'09] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD228 track 25

Artists
ISRC
GB-LLH-10-22825
Duration
3'09
Recording date
3 May 2010
Recording venue
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Recording producer
Alexander Van Ingen
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten: A Ceremony of Carols; Poston: An English Day-Book (SIGCD228)
    Disc 1 Track 25
    Release date: September 2010
    Download only
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