16 September 2011
Vocal Constructivists, South London Gallery

I stood behind my black music stand in the white-washed performance hall of the South London Gallery which strangely imitated the black and white graphic notation on the score in front of me.

We had worked so many evenings and weekends discussing the score, observing the sometimes humorous, sometimes puzzling scribbles, dashes and dots, working out a variety of sounds we could produce with just our body, and tonight we finally were to perform the work in public. As a group, we approached Cornelius Cardew's treatise through a democratic approach, no one in particular taking charge of any artistic decision, but rather, creatively discussed and sounded out portions of the score by assigning some pages as tutti, some for smaller groups of twos and threes and some as solos. To vocolise 193 pages of graphic notation at times seemed nearly impossible throughout our months of rehearsals. In fact, it was not until the final pitch had been cut off and the silent pause was suddenly interrupted with a wall of applause that we realised the performance had been a success beyond what we had ever imagined.

The performance was liberating on many levels in ways that no other performance of music I have experienced before. The creative process of composing for the performance, making note of it in a language that could be understood by myself but also by others brought a new challenge and element to music notation. 

Next Performance: Saturday 10 December 2011 Morley College, London

Conference Programme
9–11 December 2011

Friday 9 December
Registration from 4 pm, including drinks
The Engine Room exhibition & Exhibition of archival materials.
Morley Live Night: performances inspired by the influence of Cardew

Saturday 10 December
Day:Conference papers, including performance of Treatise
Workshops and informal performance of experimental music
Round Table: The Morley Experimental Music Class 1969–73: Recollections and Legacy
Participants include: Michael Chant, Carole Finer, Keith Rowe, Michael Graubart, Christopher Hobbs and Hugh Shrapnel

Evening:Conference Dinner at Morley College
      Concert by Danny Dark (Walter & Horace Cardew)

Sunday 11 December
Conference papers
Workshops and informal performance of experimental music

Keynote Address: John Tilbury on Cornelius Cardew at Morley College and afterwards

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