The Cardew Object: An Introduction to Cardew

Colloquium with Sound Installation and Film Screening Fri 9 Apr 2010 6.00PM - Thu 15 Apr 2010 12.00AM The New School, Wollman Hall
55 West 11th Street (enter at 66 West 12th Street), 5th Floor
Admission: $8, free for all students as well as New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID
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A three-day event explores the radical oeuvre of British experimental composer Cornelius Cardew and the activities of the Scratch Orchestra (which he co-founded in 1969), and illuminates their significance today as artistic, pedagogical, and political tools. Workshops, sound installations, a film screening, and an exhibition bring together historians, musicians, artists, and New School faculty and students, and are presented at The New School. Among the participants are contemporary music ensemble Either/Or, artists Luke Fowler and Robert Sember, and New School faculty members Danielle Goldman, Sarah Montague, Simonetta Moro, Evan Rapport and Ivan Raykoff and their students. Pianist and Cardew biographer John Tilbury is contributing a (pre-recorded) Call-to-Action. Vera List Center Fellow Robert Sember, a member of the sound-art collective Ultra-red and the School of Echoes, leads the colloquium and workshops in collaboration with faculty members from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.


DAY ONE PROGRAM

Colloquium with Sound Installation and Film Screening
An Introduction to Cardew
Friday, April 9, 2010
65 West 11th Street (enter at 66 West 12th Street)

Sound samples installation by New School students: 6:00–6:30 p.m.
Introduction by Robert Sember: 6:30–7:00 p.m.
Film screening, followed by discussion: 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Cornelius Cardew's music and ideas – and their significance today as an artistic as well as pedagogical and political project – are introduced by Vera List Center Fellow Robert Sember. This is followed by a screening of Glasgow-based artist Luke Fowler's Pilgrimage from Scattered Points (2006, 45"), a film that explores the internal contradictions and struggles of Cardew's Scratch Orchestra through first person interviews, recent and archival footage, and original recordings.

"Filmmaker Luke Fowler depicts the Scratch Orchestra's composer Cornelius Cardew in action, resonating in a brilliant, impressionistic visual landscape. Sound and image unite to form a hypnotic and freely associating current, which reaches far into the subjective sphere of experimental film." - Hot Docs

Robert Sember and Luke Fowler are then joined by art historian Claire MacDonald and New School faculty members Ivan Raykoff and Evan Rapport in a closing discussion.

Sound samples culled from previous workshops are installed in the lecture hall and ring in the evening's events; pianist John Tilbury (via recording), Cardew's biographer and one of his closest associates, provides a call-to-action.

Inspired by The Cardew Object at the ICA London (November 2009), these events are organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics as part of its 2009-2010 program theme "Speculating on Change."

    • The Cardew Object. Day 1, Part 1: Introduction to Cardew.
    • The Cardew Object. Day 1, Part 2: Introduction to Cardew.
    • John Tilbury - On Cardew
Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) was a seminal figure of the British avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s. A student of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and a follower of John Cage, he formed the Scratch Orchestra with Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton in 1969 in London. Based on their experiments, Cardew published the book Scratch Music, now a classic resource for experimental musicians. In the late 1970s, Cardew became increasingly involved in a Marxist-Leninist discourse, eventually rejecting his own compositional work as elitist. Cardew died in an unresolved hit-and-run accident at the age of forty-five, estranged from most of his colleagues and challenged for his political convictions.

The Scratch Orchestra was a collaborative group of musically trained and untrained participants engaged in radical modes of improvisatory and cross-disciplinary art-making. In an effort to liberate performers from the constraints of traditional music notation as well, Cardew developed elaborate forms of graphic notation – all part of an explicit agenda of political consciousness and social action. These larger "ways of organizing," including interpretations of two sections from Cardew's The Great Learning (1968-71), are presented during The New School events in a structured environment that invites creative engagement and collaboration.

Listing includes participants of all three-day events. Visit DAY TWO and DAY THREE for more information.

Participants:
Either/Or, new music ensemble and 2009-2010 Lang College Visiting Artists
Luke Fowler, artist and filmmaker, Glasgow
Danielle Goldman, dancer and faculty member, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts
Sarah Montague, public radio producer and faculty member, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts
Simonetta Moro, artist and faculty member, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts
Evan Rapport, experimental musician, and faculty member, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts
Ivan Raykoff, saxophonist, composer and faculty member, Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts
Robert Sember, artist and 2009-2010 Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellow
John Tilbury (via recording), pianist, member Scratch orchestra, and author of Cornelius Cardew – A Life Unfinished (2008)

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