The Cardew Object: What Did You Hear?

Sound Installation Sun 11 Apr 2010 The Tank, 354 West 45th St.
Admission: $8
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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. 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. Pianist and Cardew biographer John Tilbury is contributing a (pre-recorded) Call-to-Action.


Sound Installation
What Did You Hear?
Sunday, April 11, 2010 12:00–6:00 p.m.
The Tank, 354 West 45th St.
Admission: $8

This session is a day-long public installation with collaborative performances and reflection facilitated by responses to the question: What did you hear? Inspired by the sound works produced in workshops held on Saturday, the day concludes with an open discussion of what is involved in constituting a collective of performers, and constituting a collective of listeners. The new-music ensemble Either/Or will also participate.
Organized and produced by the Tank Space for Performing and Visual Arts

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."
    • 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 ONE and DAY TWO for more information.

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)