ABOUT the ensemble

Fount & Origin is a new Oxford-based early music vocal ensemble specialising in late-medieval and early-renaissance music. We are committed to performing lesser-known works from this period and exploring the rich cultural and liturgical history that accompanies the music. We hope that our work will inspire further performance and interest in this neglected repertory.

Formed in Autumn 2018 by our director, James Tomlinson, the ensemble of a dozen students and young professionals delight in reviving forgotten and underperformed early music to the highest standards of choral performance, combining clarity of tone with an expressive wit, and demonstrating “impressive control over challenging idioms” (Edward Higginbottom, 2019).

Fount & Origin has been awarded the Stile Antico Ensemble Development Bursary 2019-2021, for which the members of Fount & Origin will be working closely with those of Stile Antico to embark on exciting projects and performances in the near future.

Find out more…

Our next event

Qui Timet Deum

5th March Lassus - Cantiones Sacrae Sex Vocum and Gesualdo – Tenebrae Responsoria for Holy Week

Qui Timet Deum follows a programme of music for six voices by the renaissance composers Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) and Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613).

The Cantiones Sacrae Sex Vocum by Lassus is the composer’s final book of motets, published in the year of his death. The collection features some of his most accomplished and beautiful compositions, setting music to a range of texts and themes.

Gesualdo’s collection of responsories for Holy Week deals with texts that follow the evocative story of Jesus’s crucifixion. His music captures the intense emotional conflicts associated with Christ’s death through the use of jarring dissonances and warped tonal progressions – the hallmarks of his later style.

Do listen to the short preview video from a recent rehearsal.

Qui Timet Deum, latest concert from Fount and Origin, a new early music vocal ensemble in Oxford

29th May
Anglia Rubet: The Quest for English Polyphony through the 15th Century (more details coming soon on our Events page!)

Latest news

Stile Antico Ensemble Development Bursary (14/03/19)

We are delighted to announce that Fount & Origin has been awarded the 2019-2021 Stile Antico Ensemble Development Bursary. We are very much looking forward to working with Stile Antico over the next two years!


Concert video (05/03/19)

We’re pleased to share with you a video of ‘Nectar et ambrosiam’ by Lassus recorded live at our recent concert.

Teaser video published! (19/02/19)

Check out this teaser video for our next concert, ‘Qui Timet Deum’ – this clip features some Gesualdo, filmed at our Saturday rehearsal in Queen’s College Chapel

Rehearsals start again (16/02/19)

And we’re off! We are excited to get started on our next programme featuring Lassus and Gesualdo for performance in The Queen’s College chapel on 5th March!

Concert video (15/02/19)

We’re pleased to share with you the Kyrie from Ockeghem’s Missa Caput, recorded live in concert on 9th Feb. We hope you enjoy!

Ockeghem and Leonel Power (10/02/19)

We had a wonderful time performing Ockeghem’s Missa Caput and other works by Ockeghem and Leonel Power in Merton Chapel last night!


“James Tomlinson's group 'Fount and Origin' work in the field of a cappella polyphony, from Lionel Power to Gesualdo.  I had the pleasure of attending their Oxford performance (Merton College Chapel, 9 February 2019) of Ockeghem's Missa Caput, interspersed with motets by Lionel Power.

The programme in itself was intriguing, revealing two very different sides of compositional practice in the 15th century.  It was hugely commendable to get this music off the ground.  However, the event proved to be so much more than an admirable initiative. It was a very satisfying aesthetic experience.  

The group of some 11 singers handled the challenging idioms with real assurance.  Technical and expressive qualities were strong. There was coherence and integrity in their approach.  This was student music-making of a high order, revealing a professional approach, and a genuine enthusiasm for this often talked-about but seldom-performed repertory.”

Edward Higginbottom
11th February 2019