Prelude 2020: Progresions

Tom Fox & Nick Murray



Tom Fox & Nick Murray respond to the events of 2020, inspired in part by Wordsworth’s epic poem The Prelude. Commissioned by The Quietus and Aerial.

Mvt.1 (Book 7/ Natural/Industrial)
Mvt.2 (Isolation/Infection/Open Space)
Mvt.3 (Hope/Fear/Global Temp)

Wordsworth described many journeys, literal and allegorical, through his deeply reflective extended poem. Progressions picks out this motif and uses it to form the structure that defines it. The three movements, and the piece as a whole, draw on data pulled from digital data – from meteorological archives to Twitter threads – to map the journeys we have taken in 2020 and beyond.

Fox and Murray have reworked global temperature data, instances of urban creep, the frequency of isolation, and the terminologies of hope to craft a series of harmonic patterns that form the structure of Progressions. Combining electronic and acoustic instrumentation, the piece serves as both a document of and a salve for the times.

“The piece is composed of three movements that each explore a particular journey. In just this year, human beings have been forced to travel so far in terms of how we live, how we interact, and how we see the world. Progressions explores our reflections on those cultural, ecological, political and emotional movements”

Tom Fox & Nick Murray


Tom Fox is a composer and instrument builder with a focus on electroacoustic and automatic instruments. He is the Creative Director of Hackoustic, a London collective focusing on sonic arts and music technology. His work has been featured at Music Tech Fest, The V&A and Tate Modern among others.

Nick Murray is a producer, composer and artist making interactive sonic work focusing on loss and digital cultures. This takes the form of games, interactive poetry and performance. Recent pieces include his acclaimed score for international dance performance Quimera, and digital commissions Walk With Me To Derwent, and Edwin Morgan’s Computer.

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