Generic compositions #1 and #6 (2000)
trumpet and percussion

These Generic Compositions may be performed as solos, as a duo, or, eventually, as part of the ensemble work Everything You Need To Know, which I am writing for the Dutch group, the Ives Ensemble, and which they will premiere in April 2001. Each of the seven Generic Compositions isolates an aspect of instrumental behaviour for especial compositional attention: in Generic Composition #1'it's the distribution of rhythms and instruments between the percussionist's hands; in Generic Composition #6 it's the conjunction of valves and the harmonic series in a brass instrument. What interests me in these Generic Compositions is the extent to which the instruments seem to write their own music when composers (players too?) let them.
Christopher Fox writes music which defies ready categorisation and has, as a result, been variously described as 'complex', 'minimal', 'senile' and 'like a steamroller'. His work habitually oversteps the boundaries of conventional concert media and as well as the radio pieces includes gallery installations in collaboration with video artists and printmakers and a 'musical box' made with the poet Ian Duhig. Paul Griffiths, writing in the Times, has said of Fox's work that 'he takes simple ideas but he makes them sound quite wonderful'.