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De corporis fabrica

for amplified solo clarinet and video

Year:  2012

Year:  2012

Composer:   Michael Norris

Films, Audio & Samples

Michael Norris: De Corporis...

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Upbeat interview with Micha...

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Sample Score

Sample: first page of each movement

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De humani corporis fabrica, a 16th-century anatomy textbook by Andreas Vesalius, was an important step in the Renaissance advancement of medical and anatomical knowledge. Divided into seven chapters, the book groups the myriad elements of the body into seven broad categories. This work for solo clarinet, divided into seven movements, responds to these categories through gestures, energy profiles and structural processes that take their cue from Vesalius’s taxonomy:

Book I: The bones and the ligaments that interconnect them Book II: The ligaments and muscles, instruments of voluntary and deliberate motion Book III: The series of veins and arteries throughout the body Book IV: The nerves Book V: The organs of nutrition and generation Book VI: The heart and organs serving the heart Book VII: The brain and organs of sense

Quite apart from the intertextual references, however, the extreme demands of the music heighten the role of the performer’s own body as a site for the literal embodiment of the physiological processes described in the text.

Dedication note

This piece was written for Richard Haynes