Edition limited to copies, reproducing, on the sleeve and the innersleeve, the 4 pages from Treatise performed by Rowe-Ambarchi. Cornelius Cardew: A Reader. Introduction by Michael Parsons. After an initial association with Stockhausen and the European avantgarde, he became engaged with the aesthetic ideas of John Cage and the New York School. A leading figure in the experimental music of the s, Cardew is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of indeterminacy, graphic notation, free improvisation and performer involvement.
As well as extending the boundaries of music in unprecedented directions, he inquired deeply into its social relevance and meaning. His passionate and untiring quest for wider social significance led him eventually to become a political activist. In the s he repudiated his earlier experimental work and adopted a more traditional musical language. He joined a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party and devoted himself to political action, at the same time searching for ways to express his commitment in musical terms.
At the height of his political involvement he died tragically at the age of 45, killed by a hit-and-run driver near his home in East London. This reader brings together a diverse collection of Cardew's major essays and writings from different stages of his career, together with commentaries by other writers associated with his work.
It reflects developments, changes and contradictions in his thinking about music from the late s to the end of his life. As a companion volume to John Tilbury's biography -- Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished , Copula, it provides essential material for the study of Cardew's life and ideas; it also makes a significant contribution to discussion of the wider issues involved in the relationship between music, ideology and political commitment.
We Sing For The Future! Performed by Frederic Rzewski, piano. Even amongst his many admirers, his later 'political' music in particular creates unease and perhaps misgivings. Thursday 7 May Friday 8 May Saturday 9 May Sunday 10 May Monday 11 May Tuesday 12 May Wednesday 13 May Thursday 14 May Friday 15 May Saturday 16 May Sunday 17 May Monday 18 May Tuesday 19 May Wednesday 20 May Thursday 21 May Friday 22 May Saturday 23 May Sunday 24 May Monday 25 May Tuesday 26 May Wednesday 27 May Thursday 28 May Friday 29 May Saturday 30 May Sunday 31 May Monday 1 June Tuesday 2 June Thursday 4 June Friday 5 June Saturday 6 June Sunday 7 June Monday 8 June Tuesday 9 June Monday 15 June Tuesday 16 June Wednesday 17 June Friday 19 June Saturday 20 June Sunday 21 June Monday 22 June Tuesday 23 June Wednesday 24 June Thursday 25 June Friday 26 June Saturday 27 June Sunday 28 June Monday 29 June Tuesday 30 June Wednesday 1 July Thursday 2 July Friday 3 July Saturday 4 July From a program recorded on January 25, , Charles Amirkhanian interviews the British composer, pianist, and Socialist, Cornelius Cardew.
Born in , Cardew had a traditional music education, studying composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In this program Cardew discusses the political aspects of his music as well as playing a selection of his protest songs and politically inspired solo piano works.
Cardew died in , the victim of a suspicious hit and run accident. He undertook a number of challenging scores with an emphasis on graphic notation and verbal instructions, such as the verbal-vocal The Great Learning for untrained chorus and orchestra and Volo Solo for piano In he joined the improvisational electronic group AMM, probably the first ensemble of its kind in Europe.
In he completed his magnum opus, Treatise, consisting of pages of music in graphic notation. In Cardew , Michael Parsons , and Howard Skempton formed the Scratch Orchestra, which improvised music from verbal instructions and other minimalist prompts. Cardew published a book based on their experiments entitled Scratch Music in that has become a standard reference work for experimental musicians ever since.
As composer, Skempton recalled, " Cornelius was a visionary and his humane, prophetic powers affected everyone around him. Around Cardew became increasingly involved in leftist political thought inspired by the works of Mao Zedong. He came to regard his own work in the avant-garde as elitist and rejected it, publishing a book in entitled Stockhausen Serves Imperialism.Cornelius Cardew (7 May – 13 December ) was an English experimental music composer, and founder (with Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons) of the Scratch Orchestra, an experimental performing ensemble.. Scores. Treatise, Buffalo, NY: Gallery Upstairs Press, , pp.; Treatise Handbook, London: Peters, , 21 pp. Working and performance notes by Cardew around the .