EMC² Festival: The Festival celebrating the Experimental Music Catalogue, organized by CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), and hosted by De Montfort University in Leicester, from 24–26 March, was a roaring success. We’ll be putting up highlights of the festival, and hopefully publishing recordings, videos, and other materials as soon as we get our collective breaths. In the meantime, check out our Facebook page for clips and stills of the event. Thanks to Kieran O’Riordan and Annd Claydon, the musical director and conference organiser, to DMU Music Technology and the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble for taking part, and especially to the CoMA people!

SO at Euston
Scratch Orchestra at Euston Station 1970

Hello and welcome (or welcome back!) to the Experimental Music Catalogue.  If you don’t know us, there’s a little explanation (Who We Are) about our history and how we got back to providing some good experimental music. This is an updated, upgraded home page, and we hope you like it.

Here are some features that might tickle your fancy:

Bandcamp. The EMC’s new-ish Bandcamp pages present listenable and downloadable tracks and albums of new music, previously unreleased music, and rare archival music. The EMC Bandcamp page will be available as long as we can afford the subscription, so enjoy, download, and if you like it, give! Our Bandcamp offerings include music by Christopher Hobbs, Michael Parsons, and John White, Rick Cox, Read Miller and Dave Smith.

  • New! Chris Hobbs, Sudoku 126. A “spacey” Sudoku just for you on Bandcamp.
  • EVEN NEWER!!! CHA: Live from Wigmore Hall. An album by that always up-for-fun free improv trio, CHA—Bruce Coates, Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson—in a real-time recording that’s been in planning for years. Check it out, if only for Bruce Coates’ cover art….

The EMC BlogNews, views and short articles about all the experimental, minimal, postminimal, animal, vegetable, and free improvisatory things that interest us.

New! Events galore: Including:

  1. Sara Stowe and Chris Brannick performing new music for voice and percussion as part of the Hay Music series, at St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye, Saturday 22 April, at 7 pm. Included will be a brand new premiere by Chris Hobbs, Three Views of Anna, with texts from James Joyce, Finnegans Wake.
  2. Occupy the Pianos, at St John’s Smith Square. Saturday 6 May, includes an evening concert with Hobbs, Second Doomsday Machine,  plus music by Julius Eastman and Arnold Schoenberg. The whole day (with loads of goodies by Ives, Nancarrow, J.L. Adams and more) begins at 11.00 (for the great price of £15!); Infernal Machines starts at 7 pm. https://www.sjss.org.uk/events/occupy-pianos
  3. Dave Smith and John Lewis, together again at Schott’s Recital Room, performing solos and duo music by Ives, Cowell, Feldman, Lewis and Smith. Friday, June 2, at 6.30 pm.

EMC Facebook. Come and see us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emcsystems. All the quick news about the EMC in your newsfeed, so you can see what we’re doing while you’re liking and poking. Our likes thus far:

EMC Scores, Recordings, and other goodiesMusic by Cornelius Cardew, Chris Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel, Michael Parsons, Dave Smith, Erik Satie and others. Includes CDs and reissues of the EMC Verbal Anthology and more.


  • The EMC Rhythmic Anthology is back, done up in a lovely pdf format. One of the important publications of the original EMC, with music by Shrapnel, Bryars, Gibson, Nyman, Hobbs, and Parsons. Some landmark pieces of minimalism/systems.

Also recent:

  • The Alec Hill Anthology: Systems music scores by one of the original members of the Promenade Theatre Orchestra. If you like bell-ringing systems, this is for you!
  • The Journal of the London Institute of ‘Pataphysics, devoted to John White on his 78th birthday. The first issue, no, 8, is Albus Liber I: Exploits and Opinions of John White, Composer. Issue 9 is Albus Liber II: The Music of John White. 

Freebies. We don’t want anyone to leave empty-handed, so, thanks to the kind permission of the composers and authors, we have a number of free pieces by Chris Hobbs, Michael Parsons, John White, and the historic Scratch Orchestra Research document, Nature Study Notes.

Stuff to read. Our well-respected Journal of Experimental Music Studies (which includesthe EMC Article Archive of historic writings), EMC Composers and other people, and various guides. Perfect for that summer afternoon…

Other free stuff, including archival recordings….

Plus other things of interest:

  1. How to Order EMC scores and recordings: We have Visa facility for ordering, through Paypal.  You have to join Paypal (it’s free), but then you can order using your card through them to us.  It’s worked really well for us and has proved to be very safe so far.  This is the cheapest method of ordering, especially for those of you who live outside of Britain.  For information on how to order, see How to Order.
  2. FAQs: Here are some frequently asked questions we receive. Have a look through them — if you don’t find your answer, contact us! We’re happy to chat.
  3. Credits: You might have also noticed the EMC Ball Logo, designed by the saxophone improviser Bruce Coates a long time ago now.  It’s based on the big ball section of Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise (pp. 130-135), with a particular resonance to a ball on p. 134.  We think that this logo gives a fine sense of who we are and where we’ve come from.  Thanks so much to Bruce for his talent and friendship.

For information on the EMC, contact:
questions**experimentalmusic.co.uk (for the **, substitute @)

This site updated 17 April 2017 by Virginia Anderson (vander**experimentalmusic.co.uk – for the **, substitute @), who is excited about all the concerts ahead.