Scratch Orchestra Dealer Concert Report

Stefan’s report on the most excellent Scratch Orchestra event at the Culturgest, Porto, as part of their Cornelius Cardew: The Freedom of Listening exhibition, is now available here and also below the break.

A rare micro-performance of a Scratch Orchestra ‘Dealer Concert’. Three visual artists who were prominent members of the Scratch Orchestra, two of them also musicians: Keith Rowe, Carole Finer and Stefan Szczelkun played in three sections.

dealt by Carole Finer

1. Improvisation Rite by Cornelius Cardew from ‘Nature Study Notes’
CCPR16 Within a certain overall playing-time, each player determines by random means one or more stretches during which he will play, for the rest remaining silent.
Players with access to mechanical or electrical equipment may make 2 parts, one of which would be performed by the mechanical or electrical equipment, the player simply switching it on and off at the appropriate points.

Poem Rite, derived from ‘Poem’ by LaMonte Young.
LaMonte Young’s poem was about moving, ‘Benches, Chairs and Tables’. Stefan used this to interpret the score. Keith also made the sounds of moving and the sounds of drawing (that is, the sounds of drawing something which is being moved)

2. A Popular Classic: ‘Summer Holiday’ by Cliff Richard. Carole played a series of three notes from the tune on prepared banjo and with the help of a red toy London bus. Keith played the tune (Esther Phillips’ ‘And I love him’) playing on the bus from his iPod. Stefan chalked cryptic data from his research on summer holidays on a wall.

3. Each performer chooses one or more compositions of his or her choosing, simultaneously.
Keith Rowe: ‘For Strings’ by Howard Skempton; ‘Sticks, Stones’ by Christian Wolff and Earle Brown’s ‘4 systems’ (Cantus Firmus version)
Stefan Szczelkun: ‘Kerr-ching for 1’ (a response to the venue having been a grand bank foyer).
Carole Finer: ‘Raindrops’ by Hugh Shrapnel

Guest Curator: Jean Jacques Palix (with Dean Inkster)
Culturgest curators: Susana Sameiro & Miguel Sequeira Wandschneider

Recorded for Portugese Radio

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