Cornelius Cardew’s TREATISE
Performed live and in full at IKLECTIK
Saturday January 28th, 2017 doors 7:30pm
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981)
Cardew was a part of the British experimental artist movement, a member of ground-breaking London improvisation ensemble AMM Music, and a contemporary of Stockhausen, Cage, and Young. He was one of the most prominent avant-garde composers of the 20th Century, and founded many influential improvisation groups including the Scratch Orchestra. His compositions include Treatise (1963-67) a 193 pages graphic score, and The Great Learning (1968-1971).
Once described as “The Mount Everest of graphic scores”, Treatise raises questions about the purpose and interpretation of scores, forcing the performers to rethink their engagement with both the intentions of the composer, and their own instruments. As such, the usual practice of pre-performance rehearsal is replaced by the need for pre-performance reflection:
“Reflection before a performance. A musical score is a logical construct inserted into the mess of potential sounds that permeate this planet and its atmosphere.”
– Cornelius Cardew, Treatise Handbook, p.vii col. 2 pp.5
We have respectfully expanded upon this quote with our secondary theme: “A Shared Sense of Uncertainty”. This is our response to Cardew’s writings, his recorded intentions, the Treatise Handbook, John Tilbury’s biography, and other recordings by Cardew and AMM, which have all fed into our considerations for this performance. Rather than organising the performers in the usual manner of a score, Treatise engages the performers using the uncertainties of notation, magnified to such a degree by the composer that the performer must rely, in the moment, upon their experience and intuition as they respond to the score and to their fellow performers alike.
It is modestly hoped that this performance will help to highlight that Cardew remains an extremely important modern British composer who passed on much too young, and we hope to honor him and his legacy.
The performance will run approx. 2 hours in length (two, one hour halves with a break in between). The score will be projected on a screen behind the musicians and the musicians will have monitors in front of them. The audience will be able to follow exactly what the musicians are seeing in real time.
We feel this approach will be highly interactive musically as well as involving and enveloping the audience fully. Many of the people performing met at the regular Friday improvisation workshop run by Cardew’s band-mate, Eddie Prevost, which has continued regularly for 16 years.
For more info and press inquiries please contact Ed Pettersen at 07554053821 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Treatise-related links of interest:
A Young Person’s Guide to Treatise: http://www.spiralcage.com/improvMeeting/treatise.html
Concerning Temporality in Music: http://verticaltemporality.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/review-treatise-treatise-handbook-by.html
Treatise: An Animated Analysis: http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/picturesofmusic/pages/anim.html