Ur Sonate

Ur Sonate

October 15 & 17, 2008

Performer and world renowned cellist Lutz Rath performed “Ur Sonate” from inside the LAB Gallery’s glass box. Originally “composed” by German DADA painter Kurt Schwitters between 1922 and 1932, “Ur Sonate”, described best as a long tone poem or “inappropriate music”, is a solo voice piece made up of absurd rhythmic combinations of consonants and vowels based on the German alphabet. It is thought that Schwitters, either consciously or subconsciously, was imitating the insanity of speeches in the early Nazi period. There is not a single word in the 45 minute, four movement piece. Schwitter’s art was eventually declared “degenerate” and banned from public viewing.

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