Kurt Schwitters' Ursonate at the Cut and Splice Festival. There are 29 MP3 files in this post. ] Kurt Schwitters' “Ursonate,” written between and was the greatest sound poem of the 20th. The Ursonate is a vocal piece consisting of four movements, an overture and finale by artist Kurt Schwitters . Schwitters emigrated from Germany.


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It consists of four movements: Erster Teil, Largo, Scherzo and Presto.

Media Art Net | Schwitters, Kurt: Ursonate

After a short introduction the first movement opens with an schwitters ursonate of its four main themes subjectseach of which is subsequently developed, leading to a coda. It is noteworthy that the theme returns before each new development but the last one. I immediately took to the latter schwitters ursonate at the final presentation of the workshop I recited one of Hugo Ball's "Laut- und Klanggedichte": Ball recited these poems himself in June in Zurich, Switzerland, at the Cabaret Voltaire, the founding place of the Dada movement.


A few months later, in February ofI happened to hear Schwitters' Ursonate read by a student of the Arnhem Drama School, at a poetry event in that city. Although the reading was not a greatly inspired schwitters ursonate, the piece was quite a revelation to me, and with no delay I looked up the piece in Schwitters' collected works at the Utrecht University Library and made photocopies of it.

At the time, however, I had no intention at all to be a voice performer.

9 Versions of Kurt Schwitters’ “Ursonate” by Kenneth Goldsmith | Poetry Foundation

During my mathematics studies I had taken up playing the schwitters ursonate as a hobby, and now I was taking the study of the instrument more seriously and finding some opportunities to play in public. Also, I had begun composing pieces of instrumental music. The Ursonate was on a shelf in my room and every once in a while I took it out and read sections of it aloud.

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  • The Ursonate (or: Sonate in Urlauten)

This went on for about two and a half years, and by the fall of I realized that I almost knew the schwitters ursonate by heart. Looking back at this from a much later time, I am very much aware of the benefits of this slow schwitters ursonate of internalising the piece.


I gradually and very intuitively formed my own interpretation of it, without any pressure schwitters ursonate outside, and without any knowledge of versions of it by other performers.

Of course I had told some friends about my fascination for the piece, and at some point it happened that I was asked to recite it at schwitters ursonate party, This performance was an instant success with many of the people present, and as a consequence I got invitations to present the piece in other places, such as a neighbourhood bar, a private concert at the Musicology Department of Amsterdam University, etc.

Event listing

The reception of these first public performances was varying widely. On many occasions I was performing at rock or punk clubs as an opening act for a schwitters ursonate, and lots of people were not at all into it.

Their preference was either to just talk with their friends or hear their habitual kind of music. So they started to scream and protest, and often throwing things at me, especially beer, which fortunately was mostly given out in plastic, not glass containers.

He exhibited in a number of galleries in schwitters ursonate city but with little success; at his first solo exhibition at The Modern Art Gallery in Decemberforty works were displayed, priced between 15 and 40 guineasbut only one was bought.


Pictures such as Small Merzpicture With Many Partsschwitters ursonate for example, used objects found on a beach, including pebbles and smooth shards of porcelain. In October he learnt that his Merzbau in Hanover had been destroyed in allied bombing. In April he suffered his first stroke, at the age of 56, which left him temporarily paralyzed on one side of his body.

His wife Helma died of cancer on 29 Octoberalthough Schwitters only heard of her death in December.

Sound Art at NRS: Kurt Schwitters' 'Ursonate' | Migration Museum

He moved there permanently on 26 Juneschwitters ursonate 2 Gale Crescent Ambleside. However, after another stroke in February of the following year and further illness, he and Edith moved to a more easily accessible house at 4 Millans Park.

Schwitters worked on the Merzbarn daily, travelling the five miles between his home and the barn, except for when illness kept him away.

On 7 January he received the news that he had been granted British citizenship. The schwitters ursonate day, on 8 January, Schwitters died from acute pulmonary edema and myocarditisin Kendal Hospital. He schwitters ursonate buried on 10 January at St.