Lewis and Smith

Oh, this is a special event. In the history of British systems music piano composer/performer duos, one of the finest was the duo of Dave Smith and John Lewis. They appear prominently in Michael Parsons’ ‘Systems in Art and Music,’ The Musical Times, 117/1604 (1976), 815, and in Virginia Anderson’s ‘Systems and Other Minimalism in Britain’, in The Ashgate Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music, ed. Potter, ap Siôn, and Gann (Ashgate, 2013), 87–109. So to have the two of them performing not only their duo work—the second half is a duo piece they have not performed in forty years—but also solo music by great American experimental composers and their own music. This is definitely one to attend!

Friday 2nd June 2017 6.30 pm
Schotts Recital Room
48 Great Marlborough Street
London W1F 7BB

John Lewis and Dave Smith (2 pianos)

The first half consists of a number of solos and duets including

Ives – The Alcotts
Stockhausen – Klavierstück 1
Cowell – The Snows of Fuji-Yama
Feldman – Intermission 6
Lewis – MercuryManganeseMagnesium
Smith – 3 Kerala song arrangementsEthical Libertarian Scholars

The second half consists of Continuum (1970), an extended piece of early minimalism co-composed by the performers who will be performing it for the first time since 1977.

£12/£10

Hobbs and Infernal Machines

This is turning into a Christopher Hobbs spring: Second Doomsday Machine is on a set, Infernal Machines, with Julius Eastman’s Evil Nigger, and some guy named Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (oh, yeah—him!), on Occupy the Pianos, at St John’s Smith Square. Saturday 6 May. 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

Hay-on-Wye Festival

Hobbs in Hay-on-Wye! Literary music for Britain’s literature capital!

Sara Stowe and Chris Brannick (pictured above) are 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.

To be there, rather than being square, tickets and info here:

https://tickets.boothbooks.co.uk/p-2118-hay-music-chris-brannick-and-sara-stowe.aspx

EMC2 Programmes, pt. 2

 

The EMC² Weekend at De Montfort University, Leicester, was a great success, with talks, concerts, and a chance for all to perform great music in the tradition of the Experimental Music Catalogue. This weekend was the brainchild of Kieran O’Riordan, with Anna Claydon of CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), and performed with energy and much skill by the members of East Midlands CoMA, the improvisation groups CHA (Bruce Coates, Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson) and the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble (Lee Allatson, Rick Nance, Virginia Anderson, Bruce Coates and Chris Hobbs), guest expert composers and performers including John White, Hugh Shrapnel, Sarah Walker, Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson, and Bruce Coates. Papers were given on related subjects from Virginia Anderson, Hilary Bracefield and Tim Bausch. Much material has been created from this event; much needs to be sifted, edited, and collated for publication. The highlights of Friday and daytime Saturday appear in the previous post. But we would like to share a little more of the event as it went on:

Saturday, 25 March:

At 7.30 pm, came the second concert, Continuing Experiments:

Not all of these pieces are available yet on video, but here are two from the second half:

First, Carole Finer, Magic Carpet, and Cornelius Cardew, “Little Flower of the North” (from Schooltime Compositions), performed by the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble (Lee Allatson, drums, Virginia Anderson, clarinets, Bruce Coates, saxes, Chris Hobbs, piano, Rick Nance Tibetan bowl and other instruments).

 

Then Christopher Hobbs, The Friesian Cow, part 2, performed by members of SLIE and the EMC All*Stars (including John Richards, electronics, and John White, helicon):

Sunday, 26 March:

After a welcome and rehearsals in the morning, there was the Experimental Frontiers concert, consisting of performers from all the events through the weekend.


This is the first half:

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

and the second half, which includes a video greeting from former EMC committee chair, Gavin Bryars, which wrapped up the approach and ethos for the festival, as Virginia Anderson’s talk began it.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Thanks to Kieran O’Riordan, Anna Claydon for putting the EMC² Festival on; to James Thompson and his team of technicians at DMU for fantastic lighting and sound (check out the final piece, Chris Hobbs’ CoMA Units, for an example of their work); to Rui and Conner at the University of Leicester for their roving and fixed video work; and to Lee Allatson for HD video on Saturday night. And, of course CoMA, and everyone who took part. It was an amazing weekend.

EMC2 Programmes

The EMC² Weekend at De Montfort University, Leicester, was a great success, with talks, concerts, and a chance for all to perform great music in the tradition of the Experimental Music Catalogue. This weekend was the brainchild of Kieran O’Riordan, with Anna Claydon of CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), and performed with energy and much skill by the members of East Midlands CoMA, the improvisation groups CHA (Bruce Coates, Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson) and the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble (Lee Allatson, Rick Nance, Virginia Anderson, Bruce Coates and Chris Hobbs), guest expert composers and performers including John White, Hugh Shrapnel, Sarah Walker, Chris Hobbs, Virginia Anderson, and Bruce Coates. Papers were given on related subjects from Virginia Anderson, Hilary Bracefield and Tim Bausch. Much material has been created from this event; much needs to be sifted, edited, and collated for publication. But we would like to share a little taste of the event as it went on:

Friday, 24 March:

Schedule:

Session 1: Setting the Scene

1.45 pm: Virginia Anderson, “The Experimental Music Catalogue: Past, Present, and Future”

EMC festival talks programme

Recording of live feed:

The Experimental Music Catalogue

Posted by LUST on Friday, 24 March 2017

Rehearsals and tea, then

4.45pm: Hilary Bracefield, “From Birmingham to Belfast: Improvising and experimenting with students”

(talk notes above for abstract and bio)

Recording of live feed:

Hilary Bracefield, ‘From Birmingham to Belfast: improvising and experimenting with students’

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Friday, 24 March 2017

Evening concert, MTI Goes EMC²: Students and staff from DMU’s music technology department play music.

Saturday, 25 March:

Began with rehearsals for allcomers and tea, then lunch, then:

1.30 pm: Panel chaired by Sarah Walker, including Virginia Anderson, Chris Hobbs, John White and Hugh Shrapnel

Recording of live feed:

Panel Chaired by Sarah Walker, including Virginia Anderson, Chris Hobbs, John White and Hugh Shrapnel.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Saturday, 25 March 2017

2.30: Concert 2: Keyboard Experiments

Programme:

Video awaiting processing, so we’ll have to wait for good quality clips, and for Howard Skempton’s In Tandem, performed by Antony Clare and Mick Peake.

However here are links to very short clips:

Chris Hobbs, premiere of solo version of Sudoku 82:

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: first, a few seconds of Chris Hobbs, premiering the first solo version of his Cold Blue Sudoku 82.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Hugh Shrapnel and Sarah Walker, playing Hugh Shrapnel, Ladywell Station

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: Here is Hugh Shrapnel and Sarah Walker performing Hugh's Ladywell Station.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Hugh Shrapnel, Cat Preludes, “…and mouse”, performed by Sarah Walker:

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: Sarah Walker playing "…and mouse" from Hugh Shrapnel's Cat Preludes.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Also “Asleep”, from Cat Preludes

Here is Shrapnel playing his Nocturne:

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: Hugh Shrapnel playing his Nocturne.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Chris Hobbs, with Terry Jennings’ Winter Trees:

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: Chris Hobbs performing Terry Jennings' Winter Trees.

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

and John White, here playing most of Sonata 159, “Waiting for Batman”:

We're hoping to bring you not only the talking portion of the EMC2 weekend, but also audio and perhaps video records of these historic concerts. In the meantime, here are a few clips from the lunchtime Keyboard Experiments concert: John White performing his 2007 Piano Sonata 159, "Waiting for Batman".

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Sunday, 26 March 2017

At 5 pm (after more rehearsals), Tim Bausch gave a paper, “Repetition as Catalyst: The Process of Creation in the Music of Alvin Lucier.”

Tim Bausch, ‘Repetition as Catalyst: The Process of Creation in the Music of Alvin Lucier’

Posted by Experimental Music Catalogue on Saturday, 25 March 2017

We will get to the evening concert, Continuing Experiments, in another post.

 

Sunday in Leicester with the EMC

Sunday afternoon, 26 March, on the EMC² Festival, is shaping up very well indeed. Included will be a new work by John White: “Ten Minutes in Leicester”. And a new commission from Hugh Shrapnel: “Something’s in the Air”. Plus Michael Nyman’s Bell Set No. 1 and Gavin Bryars’ classic piece “1, 2, 1-2-3-4”. Here’s more about it from Gavin Bryars:

My piece starts with the bandleader saying “1, 2, 1-2-3-4”, and at that moment everyone presses the start button on a cassette recorder. Each cassette recorder has a copy of the same recording that is listened to on headphones, and each player “shadows” his own instrument trying to play exactly the part played by his own instrument. The recording was not multi-copied – each was done separately, so the first sound after the leader tape was not in exactly the same place on each cassette. At that time too, 1971, portable cassette machines were not particularly accurate – running speeds could fluctuate and batteries would run down. No one reproduces the song itself: everyone just plays the accompaniment.

It’s an example of “private music” – a kind of philosophical concept that informed a number of my pieces at that time. Here, each individual player hears the music on the headphones as well as his own playing (but not that of the other players); the audience hears everyone’s live music (but not the music on the headphones); and nobody has access to everything.

Plus CoMA Units, a new commission from Christopher Hobbs. About the piece:

Units for CoMA was composed for [Sunday’s] concert. The performers divide themselves into various units (battery, air, wind, string, vocal) and the (quite unspecific) instructions are intended to allow them to freely research, devise and explore the nature of their respective units, either in solo or in group realization. The inspiration for the piece comes from the “battery unit” of percussionists in the final movement of Charles Ives’ Fourth Symphony, who provide a constant background to the rest of the orchestra, while remaining independent of it.

Also by Hobbs, The Castle Keep and part 1 of The Friesian Cow (part 2 is being played on Saturday night).

All in all, this is shaping up to be the festival of the year for experimental music fans, if not festival of the decade. Contacts to know more, be there, or be square (available on our welcome page as well):

For information on how to attend and book (though the information on the programme right now—17 March—is months old), see the CoMA website: http://www.coma.org/whats-on/events/emc²/ CoMA East Midlands has a Facebook page, with occasional news: https://www.facebook.com/groups/105499836160596/

For some idea of the schedule, see our Blog. Two posts already deal with its progress: EMC2: On the way! and the update: EMC2: Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue (schedule) . We will try to put up information, as we hear of them, as blog announcements.

And for the De Montfort link on Facebook, see their page: DMU Music Facebook page

Events keep developing: we’ll keep you informed, here on our home page, on our blog, and on our Facebook page.

 

EMC2: Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue (schedule)

Hi, everyone:

Here’s the revised schedule for the concerts for EMC²: Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue. The new version includes some of Terry Jennings’ pieces from the EMC Keyboard Anthology. If you like English experimental, systems, minimal and postminimal music, this is THE weekend!

yrs,

admin…..

Friday, 24 March:

  • Welcome
  • Virginia Anderson, The Experimental Music Catalogue: Past, Present, and Future [an introduction to the EMC, its original incarnation as a publishing project, its resurrection in 1999 as a website, and its current work in pdf, Bandcamp recordings, and Facebook page]
  • Hilary Bracefield, From Birmingham to Belfast: Improvising and experimenting with students [Bracefield, the co-founder of the new music magazine Contact, on university groups]
  • There will be rehearsals for CoMA members and an all-comers group throughout the day, including music by Christopher Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel, and Gavin Bryars. The evening concert will be provided by DMU staff and students.

Saturday, 25 March:

Two concerts:
1) A lunchtime piano concert:
  • Howard Skempton: In Tandem
  • Christopher Hobbs: Sudoku 82 (first performance of version for solo piano)
  • Hugh Shrapnel: Ladywell Station / ‘…and mouse” / ‘Asleep’ / Nocturne
  • Terry Jennings: Winter Trees
  • John White: Four Sonatas
performers include: Christopher Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel and Sarah Walker, and John White
2) an evening concert curated by Christopher Hobbs:
  • Gavin Bryars: Out of Zaleski’s Gazebo (Mick Peake, Antony Clare, John White and Christopher Hobbs, two pianos)
  • Howard Skempton:
    • Call
    • Melody for a First Christmas
    • A Card for Lucy (Virginia Anderson, B-flat clarinet)
  • Michael Parsons:
    • Two Landscapes—Virginia, Usk (Bruce Coates, soprano saxophone, Virginia Anderson, B-flat clarinet
    • Kucinata (Macedonian Dance), (Virginia Anderson, E-flat clarinet, Christopher Hobbs, drum)
  • CHA: Improvisation by Virginia Anderson, Bruce Coates and Christopher Hobbs

****Interval****

  • The South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble (Lee Allatson, Bruce Coates, Rick Nance, Christopher Hobbs, Virginia Anderson):
    • Carole Finer: Magic Carpet (from the Scratch Anthology of Compositions)
    • Cornelius Cardew: Little Flower of the North (from Schooltime Compositions)
  • and an all-star group (performers to be revealed soon):
    • Christopher Hobbs: The Friesian Cow part 2
  • There will also be papers during the day and a panel session, chaired by Sarah Walker, with Virginia Anderson, John White, Chris Hobbs and Hugh Shrapnel

Sunday, 26 March:

  • The big, grand, gala event will be the post-lunchtime (2 pm) COMA and all-comers concert of music by Hobbs, Shrapnel, Dave Smith and John White (new commissions) and by former EMC committee members Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman, performed by a wide group of players from DMU, COMA, and guest stars.
  • E. Midlands CoMA Ensemble
    • Christopher Hobbs: The Castle Keep
    • Michael Nyman: Bell Set no. 1
    • John White: New work (premiere commission)
    • Christopher Hobbs: The Friesian Cow  Part 1
    • Dave Smith: New work (premiere commission)
    • John White: St. Vitus’ Dance Music Assembly Machine

****Interval****

  • Allcomers’ Ensemble
    • Hugh Shrapnel: Something in the Air (premiere commission)
    • Christopher Hobbs: CoMA Units (premiere commission)
    • Gavin Bryars: 1, 2, 1-2-3-4

 

EMC2: On the way!

UPDATE: See our newer post for revised schedule….

Some years ago I was delighted when Lou Glandfield, in a Times Literary Supplement review, wrote I provided “plenty of highbrow gossip” in my chapter on experimental music in London in and around 1968. Today I don my Hedda Hopper hat once more to reveal some in-house plans for the upcoming EMC² Festival and conference at De Montfort University, Friday–Sunday, 24–26 March. I call it “gossip” because the final schedule has yet to be fixed, but it will give an idea of the type of music that will be played, the talk that will be talked, and the people playing and talking. This is going to be one of the highlights of experimental music events, with a bunch of our favourite EMC composers, the good people of COMA (Contemporary Music for All), and DMU students. There will be lots more that is yet to be fixed, but here are some things that are in the works:

Friday, 24 March:

  • Welcome
  • Virginia Anderson, The Experimental Music Catalogue: Past, Present, and Future [an introduction to the EMC, its original incarnation as a publishing project, its resurrection in 1999 as a website, and its current work in pdf, Bandcamp recordings, and Facebook page]
  • Hilary Bracefield, From Birmingham to Belfast: Improvising and experimenting with students [Bracefield, the co-founder of the new music magazine Contact, on university groups]
  • There will be rehearsals for CoMA members and an all-comers group throughout the day, including music by Christopher Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel, and Gavin Bryars. The evening concert will be provided by DMU staff and students.

Saturday, 25 March:

  • Includes two concerts: 1) A lunchtime piano concert (performers include Christopher Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel and Sarah Walker, Dave Smith, and John White):
    • Howard Skempton: In Tandem
      Dave Smith: On the Virtues of Forests
      Hugh Shrapnel: Ladywell Station / ‘…and mouse” / ‘Asleep’ / Nocturne
      Terry Jennings: Winter Trees
      John White: Three Sonatas
  • 2) an evening concert curated by Christopher Hobbs:
    • Bryars: Out of Zaleski’s Gazebo
      Michael Parsons / Howard Skempton: pieces for clarinet
      Hobbs: Sudoku 82***interval***CHA: Improvisation by Virginia Anderson, Bruce Coates and Christopher Hobbs
      Hobbs: The Friesian Cow part 2
  • There will also be papers during the day and a panel session, chaired by Sarah Walker, with Virginia Anderson, John White, Chris Hobbs and Hugh Shrapnel

Sunday, 26 March:

The big, grand, gala event will be the post-lunchtime (2 pm) COMA and all-comers concert of music by Hobbs, Shrapnel (both new commissions) and Bryars, performed by a wide group of players from DMU, COMA, and guest stars.

All of this is subject to change. Once I receive the final schedule, I will post it immediately, but for the moment, I hope this acts as a taster for the weekend….

New Extended deadline for EMC2 conference

NOTICE: DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS EXTENDED TO 20 JANUARY 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: EMC2 – Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue

De Montfort University 24-26th March 2017

The Experimental Music Catalogue (EMC) is a unique publication project, founded by the composer Christopher Hobbs in 1968 and shortly thereafter joined by Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman, to disseminate experimental music (which used indeterminate, Cagean processes, often presented in text or graphic notation) and minimalism. Many of these works were “for all”, requiring performers to be interested and diligent, but not requiring an ability to read common-practice music notation. From its founding until it was closed in the early 1980s, the EMC released works by important international experimental and minimalist composers (including Cornelius Cardew, Terry Jennings, Howard Skempton, Jon Gibson, Christian Wolff, and the open-ended London experimental group the Scratch Orchestra) as individual scores and thematic anthologies (such as the Verbal Anthology, Rhythmic Anthology, Scratch Anthology of Compositions). As a publisher, the EMC was unusual in that all composers kept copyright of their work, and as part of a larger wave in independent published collections (in the US, Soundings and SOURCE magazines, Dick Higgins’ “something else press”; in the UK, Contact magazine), the EMC imprint appears in library holdings throughout the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia. Although Bryars operated the EMC from his London home, many of the EMC composers and associated performers worked at Leicester Polytechnic, where Bryars was head of music. Leicester Polytechnic became a crucible for new works and classic performances of old works, thus ensuring the East Midlands’ central place in the development of new music in Britain. Christopher Hobbs and Virginia Anderson revived the Experimental Music Catalogue in 1999 as a web-based not-for-profit resource, bringing out classic anthologies, new scores, and more recently, CDs and downloads. The modern EMC is based in Leicester.

In conjunction with De Montfort University, the University of Leicester and Contemporary Music for All (CoMA) East Midlands, we invite paper proposals on the topic of the Experimental Music Catalogue as part of the Arts Council funded festival of practice and analysis, EMC2. Composers within the East Midlands played a huge role in shaping experimental music tropes and strategies of the 1960s and ‘70s both in the UK and beyond. As part of CoMA East Midlands’ 20th anniversary celebrations we are hosting a festival of practice, reflection and research centred upon the Catalogue and its impact. Conference attendees can attend in one of two modes: as conference participants only (talks, plenaries (for both speakers and players) and concert attendance represent an enjoyable package of events) or as speakers and players, participating in the all-comers’ rehearsal events on Saturday and the concert on Sunday afternoon.

The conference will begin on Friday at 12.30pm with registration and first panels at 1.45pm (the all-comers’ taking part all weekend begin rehearsals at 2pm). Concert number one (curated by DMU staff and students) will take place that evening. On Saturday, speakers’ panels are in the morning followed by a plenary with people associated with the EMC (including Christopher Hobbs, Virginia Anderson, Dave Smith and Hugh Shrapnel) and a piano repertoire concert. Speakers’ panels continue in the afternoon followed by an evening concert curated by Christopher Hobbs. If you decide to play with the all-comers’ (this will need to be booked in advance with your conference booking) we will be working on Gavin Bryars’ 1, 2, 1-2-3-4 (1975) and new commissions from the EMC composers.  On Sunday, the final speakers’ panels will take place in the morning with rehearsals in parallel and the day concluding after lunch with the final last presenting the new commissions and Bryars’ work. The day will conclude by 4pm.

What we are aiming for is a fun and enlightening integration of activities for all. We also aim to have a publication outlet for academics participating and more information about this will follow in advance of the conference.

Consequently, we invite proposals both broadly on the EMC and its impact but also on specific areas including:

Underground music publication and experimental music
The influence of EMC publications on subsequent composers
The role that indeterminate compositions played in opening music performance to all (to musicians of abilities, all artistic backgrounds, and relevant gender and class balance)
The Scratch Orchestra
The intersection between experimental and minimal music
Performance parameters
How indeterminate (text) scores are used today
Proposals should be sent in Word or rtf (NOT PDF) format, 250 words long, plus 100 words bio (affiliation, recent work etc…) and ensure your contact details are on the document. Please also indicate if you would wish to play an instrument, what that instrument is and how you would rate your abilities (e.g. Grade or years of experience). If you wish to play, please indicate if you have a preference for the day on which you deliver your paper (i.e. Friday or Sunday). The deadline is January 16th 2017. Proposers will hear back in late January. Send your proposal to Virginia Anderson at emcsystems@me.comand Anna Claydon at coma.east.midlands@gmail.com

The conference fees (payable electronically or by cheque via the booking form available from coma.east.midlands@gmail.com) are:

Conference only (includes conference pack, conference plenary and concert tickets)

Salaried CoMA Member £45
Salaried Non-CoMA Member £50
Student, Non-salaried CoMA Member £25
Student, Non-salaried Non-CoMA Member £30

Partial Conference and Partial Playing (i.e. playing on Saturday, conferencing Friday and Sunday there are extra costs associated with this)

Salaried CoMA Member £55
Salaried Non-CoMA Member £60
Student, Non-salaried CoMA Member £35
Student, Non-salaried Non-CoMA Member £40

Call for Papers and Participation: EMC2 Festival and Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS: EMC² – Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue

De Montfort University 24-26th March 2017

The Experimental Music Catalogue (EMC) is a unique publication project, founded by the composer Christopher Hobbs in 1968 and shortly thereafter joined by Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman, to disseminate experimental music (which used indeterminate, Cagean processes, often presented in text or graphic notation) and minimalism. Many of these works were “for all”, requiring performers to be interested and diligent, but not requiring an ability to read common-practice music notation. From its founding until it was closed in the early 1980s, the EMC released works by important international experimental and minimalist composers (including Cornelius Cardew, Terry Jennings, Howard Skempton, Jon Gibson, Christian Wolff, and the open-ended London experimental group the Scratch Orchestra) as individual scores and thematic anthologies (such as the Verbal Anthology, Rhythmic Anthology, Scratch Anthology of Compositions). As a publisher, the EMC was unusual in that all composers kept copyright of their work, and as part of a larger wave in independent published collections (in the US, Soundings and SOURCE magazines, Dick Higgins’ “something else press”; in the UK, Contact magazine), the EMC imprint appears in library holdings throughout the UK, Europe, the Americas and Asia. Although Bryars operated the EMC from his London home, many of the EMC composers and associated performers worked at Leicester Polytechnic, where Bryars was head of music. Leicester Polytechnic became a crucible for new works and classic performances of old works, thus ensuring the East Midlands’ central place in the development of new music in Britain. Christopher Hobbs and Virginia Anderson revived the Experimental Music Catalogue in 1999 as a web-based not-for-profit resource, bringing out classic anthologies, new scores, and more recently, CDs and downloads. The modern EMC is based in Leicester.

In conjunction with De Montfort University, the University of Leicester and Contemporary Music for All (CoMA) East Midlands, we invite paper proposals on the topic of the Experimental Music Catalogue as part of the Arts Council funded festival of practice and analysis, EMC2. Composers within the East Midlands played a huge role in shaping experimental music tropes and strategies of the 1960s and ‘70s both in the UK and beyond. As part of CoMA East Midlands’ 20th anniversary celebrations we are hosting a festival of practice, reflection and research centred upon the Catalogue and its impact. Conference attendees can attend in one of two modes: as conference participants only (talks, plenaries (for both speakers and players) and concert attendance represent an enjoyable package of events) or as speakers and players, participating in the all-comers’ rehearsal events on Saturday and the concert on Sunday afternoon.

The conference will begin on Friday at 12.30pm with registration and first panels at 1.45pm (the all-comers’ taking part all weekend begin rehearsals at 2pm). Concert number one (curated by DMU staff and students) will take place that evening. On Saturday, speakers’ panels are in the morning followed by a plenary with people associated with the EMC (including Christopher Hobbs, Virginia Anderson, Dave Smith and Hugh Shrapnel) and a piano repertoire concert. Speakers’ panels continue in the afternoon followed by an evening concert curated by Christopher Hobbs. If you decide to play with the all-comers’ (this will need to be booked in advance with your conference booking) we will be working on Gavin Bryars’ 1, 2, 1-2-3-4 (1975) and new commissions from the EMC composers.  On Sunday, the final speakers’ panels will take place in the morning with rehearsals in parallel and the day concluding after lunch with the final last presenting the new commissions and Bryars’ work. The day will conclude by 4pm.

What we are aiming for is a fun and enlightening integration of activities for all. We also aim to have a publication outlet for academics participating and more information about this will follow in advance of the conference.

Consequently, we invite proposals both broadly on the EMC and its impact but also on specific areas including:

  • Underground music publication and experimental music
  • The influence of EMC publications on subsequent composers
  • The role that indeterminate compositions played in opening music performance to all (to musicians of abilities, all artistic backgrounds, and relevant gender and class balance)
  • The Scratch Orchestra
  • The intersection between experimental and minimal music
  • Performance parameters
  • How indeterminate (text) scores are used today

Proposals should be sent in Word or rtf (NOT PDF) format, 250 words long, plus 100 words bio (affiliation, recent work etc…) and ensure your contact details are on the document. Please also indicate if you would wish to play an instrument, what that instrument is and how you would rate your abilities (e.g. Grade or years of experience). If you wish to play, please indicate if you have a preference for the day on which you deliver your paper (i.e. Friday or Sunday). The deadline is January 16th 2017. Proposers will hear back in late January. Send your proposal to Virginia Anderson at emcsystems@me.com and Anna Claydon at coma.east.midlands@gmail.com

The conference fees (payable electronically or by cheque via the booking form available from coma.east.midlands@gmail.com) are:

Conference only (includes conference pack, conference plenary and concert tickets)

Salaried CoMA Member £45

Salaried Non-CoMA Member £50

Student, Non-salaried CoMA Member £25

Student, Non-salaried Non-CoMA Member £30

Partial Conference and Partial Playing (i.e. playing on Saturday, conferencing Friday and Sunday there are extra costs associated with this)

Salaried CoMA Member £55

Salaried Non-CoMA Member £60

Student, Non-salaried CoMA Member £35

Student, Non-salaried Non-CoMA Member £40

For a pdf version of this announcement, download here: CALL FOR PAPERS EMC2 Conference and Festival