R O T E / T H R U

Rote/Thru is a collaborative work involving music and poetry that originated in a commission from the Sounds New contemporary music festival in 2011. The poets Simon Smith and David Herd were asked to work with composer Jack Hues to create a piece that took as its inspiration Frank O'Hara's poem Biotherm. The resulting collaborative project was unpredictably fertile and in some senses is ongoing. To date there have been four performances and a recording session with each incarnation of the piece differing considerably. The written music consists of an introductory section and 10 further modules employing varying degrees of open notation (e.g. module 8 consists of four empty bars with the instruction 'medium swing – swagger'). The text exists in a similar form with edits, cuts and repeats being made in the course of the performance. Key collaborators in the process have been the musicians Sam Bailey (piano), Liran Donin (double bass) and Mark Holub (drums).

We here include a recording of Rote/Thru, and a conversation between four of the artists involved in the collaboration: Sam Bailey, David Herd, Jack Hues and Simon Smith. Rote Thru will form one half of the forthcoming album by Jack Hues and the Quartet. The version available here is about half the length of the album edit.


Jack Hues and the Quartet with David Herd and Simon Smith, Rote/Thru

A conversation on Rote/Thru, with Sam Bailey, David Herd, Jack Hues, and Simon Smith