Back to Schooltime

We have a new release! Cornelius Cardew’s Schooltime Compositions, in pdf.


Cardew’s famous 1968 ‘opera book’ that immediately preceded The Great Learning. Schooltime Compositions contains notes, scores, visual elements — all involved with the exploration of ‘experiment’ in the methodological sense as well as the musical sense. This is a much slimmer volume than The Great Learning, but shares Cardew’s fascination with the sense of mutual and self-education. In this way, Schooltime Compositions precedes the group education aspect of the Scratch Orchestra, which was founded a year later. This work can be performed by reading and/or non-reading musicians. It is also just a joy to meander through. The piece includes a facsimile of the cover — a parody of those splotchy school composition books that every kid had in those days. It is marked with Cardew’s signature and a number, from the original limited edition. for information, see our catalogue:

Fare for the fans

We’ve been trawling through old recordings of late. Christopher Hobbs found us this from a recording of a concert at the British Music Information Centre, 4 April 1988. This may be the premiere of his piece, Fanfares (1987), for two E flat clarinets, played by Jane Aldred and myself. I remember these concerts as a heck of a lot of fun, the playing very challenging.

To hear these little pieces for little clarinets, go to the Experimental Music Catalogue Archival Recordings page, where you’ll find this and a host of other goodies:, where there is a short explanation. Or just have a little listen here. The Fanfares themselves are a joy to listen to — and to dance to — after all these years. And for those of you E flat clari-nuts, well, the score is available through the EMC. Just saying.