Lentz in the lens

The whole Southern Californian ‘pretty music’, minimalism and postminimal scene that came up from the late 1960s and after is very complementary to the British experimental scene. Some of the connections are there (Harold Budd’s work with Brian Eno on Obscure Recordings, for instance); some are just really happy parallels. This week, two items about Daniel Lentz came into my personal Facebook account. Lentz is one of the twin pillars of the Los Angeles ‘pretty music’ scene (along with Harold Budd). His music is sometimes almost liturgically ritual, often lush and sensual, intimate, occasionally funny, and, yes, often very, very pretty. Daniel Lentz’s music is always well worth checking out (as is his artwork). (For those who don’t know his work, here’s his website: ).

But back to last week’s Lentz. The first is a link to YouTube. It’s a mid-1980s American children’s TV show called Reading Rainbow, hosted by LeVar Burton, in which ‘Is It Love’, a piece from Lentz’s album The Leopard Altar is set to an animation. It’s a delight of bright digital sound. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzQrYTWdNCA&feature=youtu.be . It’s worth chasing up the whole track, which lasts about nine gorgeous minutes.

The second Lentz item is a piece from 1977, and was sent to us by Janyce Collins, performer, teacher, and pilot. This piece is called Flying Alleluia for 29 Hang Gliders, a piece in which each hang-glider pilot either sings a note, or installs a wind-operated Aeolian reed on their machine. The 29 pitches are played as each pilot launches in score order, so that ‘massed listeners’ below the flight path will hear the Alleluia plainsong. We do hope that someone performs this again, and that it will be a good day when we’re there to hear it.

Portsmouth Sinfonia at the Royal Albert Hall

One of our favourite British experimental groups was the Portsmouth Sinfonia, aka ‘the world’s worst orchestra’. This is a short documentary about their performance at the Royal Albert Hall on 28 May 1974, with Sally Binding, pianist on Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, and the Portsmouth Sinfonia Choir, singing The ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. It’s in three parts on YouTube, to be found by clicking the links below. Thanks to the musicologist and theorist Kevin Holm-Hudson for making us aware of this historic film.

Further Duo Percussion things

We’ve shifted our collective bottoms and have done more on the EMC Duo Percussion Anthology page that we announced earlier this week. The new things include a picture of the cover, a list of the pieces in the Anthology, links to relevant recordings on the EMC Recorded Music Archive, and more. For more information, go to the Experimental Music Classic Catalogue: http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Classic_EMC_Catalogue.html


Hobbs-White Duo concert on Soundcloud

New to the EMC Soundcloud offerings is an archive performance of Christopher Hobbs and John White at the Whitechapel Gallery, 10 June 1973. These are the early ‘strict’ systems and readymades for unpitched percussion. More on this type of music, and how to get the score of the Hobbs-White Duo Percussion Anthology can be found on the EMC website, here: http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk/emc/Classic_EMC_Catalogue.html . The Soundcloud recording is here: https://soundcloud.com/dr-virginia-anderson/sets/hobbs-white-duo-at-whitechapel-gallery-10-june-1973 .

The history of British experimental music in general history: Taruskin, Oxford History of Western Music

Just the other day, there was a flurry of posts on the AMS-list email list regarding Richard Taruskin’s multi-volume Oxford History of Western Music (OUP). Most of the contributors were interested in subjects that Taruskin omitted, such as Latin American composers. I am, on the contrary, unhappy with what Taruskin has put in. There are several features that we should demand in any scholarly writing, whether they be music appreciation texts, student histories or professional monographs. I will test these features through what Taruskin writes about post-war music, especially Downtown experimentalism and British experimentalism, because I know that area better than any other.

The first feature of scholarly writing is that it should be factually accurate, at least as far as its central concepts. In the section called ‘Internalized Conflicts’, Taruskin begins with a factual sentence about Cardew’s education and his work with Stockhausen. He continues, ‘In 1967 he was appointed to the faculty of the Royal Academy, but by 1969, under the influence of the Cultural Revolution instigated in China by Mao Tse-tung and his Red Guards, Cardew renounced his advanced musical techniques as “bourgeois deviationism”.’ This sentence is absolutely false: Cardew only began study of Mao in the last part of 1971. The political aesthetic of Maoist arts demands that the artwork deliver a clear message to the working classes, using the music that they understand and like. The Scratch Orchestra, which Taruskin examines in this section, uses a philosophy that is an offshoot of Cagean indeterminacy. Their work included improvisation, alternative notations, and a kind of extreme egalitarianism allowing intelligent non-musicians (and non-reading musicians) parity with those musicians trained in Western classical music. The Scratch Orchestra affected a kind of hippie-ish communality and anarchy — something quite different from the regimentation of Maoism. Most of the important ‘experimental’ music of the Scratch Orchestra, and all of The Great Learning, appeared before the summer of 1971, when the Scratch, divided by schisms, held Discontent Meetings. From these meetings here emerged a strong Maoist contingent who became increasingly important to the musical content and performance activity of the Scratch Orchestra in its political phase.

The myth of a Maoist Scratch Orchestra has been perpetuated by several critics who were hostile to Cardew and Cagean indeterminacy. They dismissed Cardew and the Orchestra, essentially, with the thought that, ‘Oh, they played rubbish and they were political extremists’. This view played well in the conservative musical and political atmosphere of British newspapers and music magazines. The clearest expression of this myth appears in entries on Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra in Norman Lebrecht’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Music (1992), which are entirely false. Taruskin does not credit Lebrecht, but he follows Lebrecht in claiming that the Scratch Orchestra broke up in 1971, another error. Instead, they moved over the next year or so to a fully political organisation performing more tonal, accessible music and turning to agit-prop theatre, political education and other areas of focus. The Scratch Orchestra stopped being a full force by 1973; they disappeared in 1974. Taruskin is writing about a group at the wrong time using the wrong musical examples.

Another feature of scholarly writing is that the writer should have explored extant research in the subject area and at least be aware of its central writings. Taruskin elsewhere cites Michael Nyman’s Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, but here he does not use it.  Taruskin instead focuses on Scratch Music, claiming erroneously, ‘For outsiders, further definition had to await the publication of Scratch Music (1972), an anthology edited by Cardew, containing examples by himself and fifteen other members of the Orchestra’. There are many other sources for information on Cardew’s work and that of the Scratch Orchestra that are available in sources such as The Musical Times. Scratch Music is a delightful collection of notes, compositions, found and newly-created art, and various other submissions by Scratch Orchestra members, arranged on the pages according to random means. It ends with ‘1001 Activities’, a list of short directions and statements that are reminiscent of Fluxus Action Scores. Scratch Music presents a rationale for the contents and a brief explanation of the Scratch Orchestra; it also contains a short article by member Michael Chant questioning whether ‘Scratch Music’ was ever a coherent Scratch Orchestra genre, and a (rather wistful) statement by Cardew that because of the move to a more politically aware aesthetic, there never be any more Scratch Music.

Taruskin nearly ignores the most useful section of Scratch Music, a reproduction of the Draft Constitution, a document which appeared in the announcement for the inaugural meeting in The Musical Times in 1969. The Draft Constitution lays out the ‘genres’ of Scratch Orchestra musical activity, including compositions, Improvisation Rites, Research Projects, Popular Classics, and a category called Scratch Music. Taruskin only looks at the category ‘Scratch Music’, treating it as if it were the entire stylistic output of the Scratch Orchestra. Along the same lines, one might describe Beethoven’s style using a collection of his piano miniatures. But there are many other elements to the output by members of the Orchestra. Scratch Orchestra compositions could be complex and multi-layered, using common-practice notation as well as text (‘verbal’)  and graphic notation. Improvisation Rites and Scratch Music, on the other hand, could be short compositions, but they also could be incomplete in some way, representing notes for accompaniments (Scratch Music) or situations for improvisation (the Rites). Popular Classics were just that — any piece known well to part of the membership — and Research Projects were longer, sometimes collaborative, projects in which the research into phenomena (including illogical conclusions) fed into some kind of performance. Finally, given that Taruskin appears to believe that Cardew is the founder, leader, and main figure of the Scratch Orchestra, it is astounding that he does not deal with Cardew’s own work, particularly Treatise (his graphic score, written before the founding of the Orchestra) and The Great Learning (1968–71), largely written for and dedicated to the Scratch Orchestra.

This leads us to two more features of scholarly writing: the writer should be proficient in the theory of (or at least reading of) the music in question and she/he should be aware of how the music appears in historical context. Taruskin describes some of the pieces in Scratch Music and the 1001 Activities without knowing how they were used, not how they could be performed today. Of the former, he can only write, ‘Very few Scratch pieces employed musical notation as normally defined. Many consisted of drawings that, without oral explanation, could not readily be translated into the sort of continuous action the constitution specified. Some, however, consisted of verbal prescriptions that occasionally suggested vivid musical (or at least sonic) results’. He lists some of these without any attempt to talk about the outcome in performance, the use of materials, or anything else that would explain the events in some artistically meaningful way. The only explanation he gives is a translation for his American readers, that a ‘Gramophone’, an instrument that appears in one event, is ‘a phonograph or record-player’. As to the 1001 Activities, Taruskin writes, ‘Some, perhaps most, are entirely “conceptual” in the sense that they can be more or less vaguely imagined but not literally realized’. He does not know that the Activities were a kind of intellectual game, a collection of events that were first mentioned on the Scratch Orchestra’s tour of Cornwall and Anglesey. They appeared in the Scratch Orchestra concert in 1970, based on another genre, the Research Project, called ‘Pilgrimage from Scattered Points on the Surface of the Body to the Heart, the Brain, the Stomach and the Inner Ear’, albeit as a protest by an anarchistic sub-group of the Orchestra called the Slippery Merchants. This group timed what was then the ‘101 Activities’ throughout the main performance, playing all Activities, whether musical, physical, or conceptual.

Taruskin could have understood these activities as artistic event had he researched Fluxus Action Scores, which are quite similar, for his section on Fluxus. Instead, Taruskin quotes George Brecht’s ‘Three Telephone Events’ from Water Yam without an indication of how they are performed. He also describes an event that he attended, but he didn’t like. The image of Fluxus that Taruskin portrays is curiously absent of women, except for Charlotte Moorman (because she played topless), despite the fact that Alison Knowles, a Fluxus member, co-edited the book Notations with John Cage. Taruskin uses this book for a number of examples, but he leaves her name off the credit.

Another feature that I would ask of scholarship at all levels is that musical examples should be explained adequately in the text. They should not be only presented and named. Any pieces that are not illustrated should be described as they appear in the score. Taruskin does not explain how the Scratch Music pieces work, nor does he really describe other examples in this volume. In the Cardew section, a page from 1001 Activites is displayed, but here, too, is another error in scholarly work. This example is credited solely to Cardew, as if he wrote all 1001 events. The error could be Taruskin’s; it could be a careless sub-editor. It is, however, an error that is glaring enough that it should have been corrected. He mentions that Cage’s ‘Lecture on Nothing’ is meant for performance as well as a lecture, but he does not go further. Lacking a score example, Taruskin makes the same error in describing 4’33” as Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Nicholas Cook, and Lydia Goehr. These writers do not refer to any of the three versions of the score, nor their variants, so what they describe is not Cage’s piece, but rather David Tudor’s performance. I have written elsewhere on the other writers’ errors (‘The Beginning of Happiness: Approaching Scores in Text and Graphic Notation’, in Sound and Score (2013)). Taruskin points out that he is describing a performance, but he does not explain how, or whether, the score would offer anything more.

Taruskin concludes by pointing out that Cardew moved to ‘writing mass songs to incite popular activism’, illustrating this with some extracts from Cardew’s political book Stockhausen Serves Imperialism in which he criticizes Cage and Stockhausen. He assesses the Scratch Orchestra in this way: ‘The Scratch Orchestra came up against the perennial dilemma of maximalism: they reached the limit. As one antagonist scoffed, “How can you make a revolution when the revolution before last has already said that anything goes?”’ Putting aside for a minute Taruskin’s rather inappropriate and vague use of the term ‘maximalism’, we find that this quotation is from an interview by Barney Childs with Charles Wuorinen in 1962, in answer to Childs’ question, ‘Is there, then, really an “avant-garde”?’. Wuorinen’s objection is something that Taruskin has used elsewhere in his criticism: a kind of all-purpose dismissal of modern music. Taruskin is thus part of a trend in criticism that I would call ‘grumpy’ history, in which an individual, movement or era is revealed to be not as good as everyone might think. For Taruskin, Cage was provoking the bourgeoisie with his pieces, so he may have liked or at least expected the sabotage of Atlas Eclipticalis in New York. Taruskin then attempts to offer a sympathetic rationale for these actions. One leaves the section on Fluxus thinking that it was run by art-house bores and later that Cardew was a swivel-eyed Maoist agitator writing anarchistic pieces with his cadre. He need go no further because the material does not deserve it. Because he writes this grumpy, incomplete history, Taruskin considers himself to be an expert on Cage. And perhaps some people actually believe him to be one.

Since this is a blog entry and not a formal review I will not go further. To go further would tire me out; it’s too much like marking a student essay, and not a very good one.  But it makes me wonder, if the sections I know well cannot satisfy basic criteria for useful scholarship, what happens in the sections on music I don’t know well? Suffice it to say, I find no use for the Oxford History of Western Music.

Happy Winter Holiday from the EMC

emc treeYears back, when the EMC was young, we used to send out an email greeting in celebration of the various winter holidays. We had plain text emails in those days, so we made a little tree out of x’s and hyphens. By 2004, we had sent out a Winter Sudoku (see below). But time went on and round-robin email became increasingly disliked, so we dropped our little EMC winter greetings.

But now, with the EMC Blog and EMC Facebook page, we thought it worthwhile to return to this little tradition, and upgrading from text trees to the real EMC tree. We’ve had so much fun chatting to people about experimental and minimal composition and free improvisation that we wanted to wrap up the year by being a bit soppy. We hope your year was wonderful and wish you all the best, musically and personally, for 2014.

Cheers, and best wishes for the holidays,

Chris Hobbs and Virginia Anderson (the EMC)




As the 4th International Conference of the Society for Musical Minimalism begins in Long Beach, those of us who can’t attend should have something to keep us entertained as well. Here’s a programme that the minimalist/systems composer Paul Epstein sent us a while back of a concert he played at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1959. The pieces are landmark ones, the players include some of the ‘megastars’ of early minimalism (click on the picture to see a bigger version). Thanks, Paul, for this, as always. This concert now appears among the EMC’s list of historical events we’re going to visit once time travel is worked out properly. We’re assuming the role of AN Other on Imaginary Landscapes No. 4 will be ours when it does. Do you have any time travel favourites? Let us know!

Noon Concert-Cage

Pictures from 1967

Here are some more items from the EMC archives. The two pictures are from a meeting of the Northwood New Music Society in 1967. The first picture shows Alan Cutts, viola, and Christopher Hobbs, piano. The second shows Hobbs (then 16) working on preparations inside the piano. What were Hobbs and Cutts playing? Was the duo picture of a different piece than the preparations picture? We’re not sure.

northwood new music507 hobbs preparations 1967508

From the past: a flyer from 1976

Here is a (rather battered) flyer advertising a series from 1976 sponsored by Music Now (an organisation created by Victor Shonfield to promote experimental music and jazz in Britain). The first two concerts advertised here present six British systems composers in the duo line-ups they had at the time. Christopher Hobbs and John White were more commonly known at this time as the Hobbs-White Duo. Arguably, John White was the originator of British systems techniques; at this point Hobbs and White had abandoned ‘strict’ systems for percussion (as the material says here — click to see it better), and were playing wind instruments and piano pieces of an increasingly through-composed, referential style. Hobbs and White have played together since, but this was one of the last concerts in an unbroken partnership that had been going since the late 1960s with the Promenade Theatre Orchestra. Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton have played together and toured as a duo since this concert. Parsons was, like Hobbs, White, and Gavin Bryars, closely associated with the Systems group of British artists. John Lewis and Dave Smith played American minimalism as well as their own work. Parsons wrote about these composers and this concert series in his article, ‘Systems in Art and Music’, The Musical Times, 117/1604 (1976), 815–818.

The other concert on this flyer advertises a concert promoted by the Progressive Cultural Association, featuring the Peoples’ Liberation Music group. Founded by John Tilbury, Laurie Baker and John Marciano, this folk-rock group is best known for the participation of Cornelius Cardew.

musicnow promolittle

Old EMC web guide to Cornelius Cardew, 13 December 2001

Whilst trawling through the EMC attic, admin found this very short guide and tribute, which was meant to last only for the occasion. It is now very much out of date; if you wish to know anything about Cornelius Cardew, you must start with John Tilbury, Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished (Essex 2008). We have noticed, however, that this little note is listed in WorldCat as a library holding. It might have interested someone, so I put it up here, as a blast from the past.

Cornelius Cardew: A source guide and personal tribute on the anniversary of his death

As my major interest is British experimental music, today marks the anniversary of an important event. Some of you may be interested in this directly, or at least might need such information for undergraduate classes and library orders.

Twenty years ago this evening, the British composer Cornelius Cardew was killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was walking in deep snow to his home in East Leyton, London. Cardew could roughly (but with some justification) be called the “Cage” of Britain, in that he developed a particularly British philosophy of notation and indeterminacy which was wholly new. Morton Feldman said (in “Conversations Without Stravinsky,” Source 2 (July 1967), p. 43) that

[a]ny direction modern music will take in England will come about only through Cardew, because of him, by way of him. If the new ideas in music are felt today as a movement in England, it’s because he acts as a moral force, a moral center. Without him, the young ‘far-out’ composer would be lost. With him, he’s still young, but not really lost.

Cardew’s work divides very neatly into the tripartite format of Beethoven and others (which I was warned not to adopt automatically in undergraduate history classes). His early work was modernist and he was a briefly a student and then assistant to Karlheinz Stockhausen, performing most of the realisation of Stockhausen’s notes to Carre’ (and then parting company with this work and with avant-garde modernism in “Report on Stockhausen’s Carre’,” The Musical Times, September, 1961, p. 619 (Part 2 in November 1961, p. 700)).

At the same time Cardew met Christian Wolff and John Cage, and soon he found that music notations which spurred the performer to action, leaving other elements indeterminate, was more attractive. Cardew wrote, during this second period in his working life, two landmark pieces of writing on notation, its psychology and aesthetics: “Notation, Interpretation, etc.,” Tempo 58:21 (1961), pp. 21-33, and the often overlooked Treatise Handbook. Both pieces concentrate on Cardew’s ideas which led up to Treatise (New York: Gallery Upstairs Press, 1967; now sold through Peters), his 193-page graphic score.

Cardew also worked with the improvisatory group AMM and became interest in a kind of notation which would not need literacy in music (by means of common-practice notations) nor in the visual arts (by means of graphic notations), but rather in written English (or by translation, any spoken tongue). His concern with a music which anyone might, with practice and thought, play at a high artistic level, led to the founding of the Scratch Orchestra (particularly in Scratch Music (London: Latimer Press, 1971) and to his largest-scale work, The Great Learning (London: Experimental Music Catalogue, 1971; available through http://www.matchlessrecordings.com). This work might arguably be the largest, most complex work of experimental music, having seven sections and taking about seven hours to complete, and forms a compendium of experimental techniques and styles.

During this period Cardew showed his gifts as leader and teacher, inspiring a whole movement of British experimental performers and composers: John Tilbury, Cardew’s equivalent to Cage’s David Tudor, an accomplished pianist who allied himself to the movement; Gavin Bryars, John White, Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons, contemporary composers who joined him; Christopher Hobbs, Hugh Shrapnel and other students in his Royal Academy of Music classes; critics like Michael Nyman; improvisatory musicians like Keith Rowe and Eddie Prevost; visual artists like Tom Phillips. The classic work which dealt contemporaneously with both American and British experimental music is Michael Nyman’s Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond (London: Studio Vista, 1974; reprinted Cambridge: CUP, 1999).

After Cardew completed The Great Learning he entered a new phase in which he (at least at first) repudiated his previous avant-garde and experimental works as part of a concern with Marxist-Leninist philosophy and Maoist aesthetics. For most people this break with modernism came in his book Stockhausen Serves Imperialism (London: Latimer Press, 1974); musically it can be heard in the re-release of his album Four Principles on Ireland and Other Pieces (Ampersand ampere7, 2001 (for which I wrote the update’s liner notes)); scores of the music (the Piano Albums from 1973 and 1974) can be found on the Experimental Music Catalogue http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk. Another personal view of graphic works from a late-Maoist angle is Cardew’s “Wiggly Lines and Wobbly Music,” Studio International, November/December 1976, pp. 247-55 (part of their Art and Experimental Music issue).

From here many uninformed commentators have merely dismissed Cardew as a political agitator (for he was a leading figure in his political sphere) and writer of protest songs for workers (one writer whose name I have, perhaps thankfully, forgotten seemed to think that the entire British experimental scene had disappeared from music into politics), but there remain works of note, particularly Mountains (1976) for bass clarinet, which Cardew wrote for Harry Spaarnay, and Boolavogue (1981) for two pianos. After Mao’s death Marxist-Leninist aesthetics seemed to allow more use of art-music techniques while retaining political content: Mountains is a Bach-like fantasia which, at one point, moves into a section of graphic notation, and Boolavogue allows limited performer choice at one point. This late work is harder to find: one may try Forward Music (2013: now out of business) and http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk for scores published by the Cornelius Cardew Foundation. The Scratch Orchestra and Composers’ Project site, Musicnow http://www.musicnow.co.uk is also useful as a source of recordings and information.

Cardew’s long-time friend and performer John Tilbury has been, for years, working on his monumental biography of Cardew; from the taste he gave in “Cornelius Cardew,” in Contact, Spring 1983, pp. 4-12, and from discussions of his work and its scope, this should be the major Cardew source when it appears. For a larger overview of Cardew and the scene in general, I have to set aside humility and suggest my MA thesis: “British Experimental Music: Cornelius Cardew and His Contemporaries,” (Unpublished thesis: University of Redlands, 1983, 278 pp.; reprinted by the Experimental Music Catalogue http://www.experimentalmusic.co.uk, 2000 2013: now out of print), which goes into the subject in a little more depth than Nyman’s and is a good companion to that book.

Those who live in Britain will find Julian Cowley’s “Revolutions from Scratch,” The Wire December 2001, pp. 26-31 to provide a good overview of Cardew’s life and memorial of the 20th anniversary of his death, as it includes interviews with many of the people who worked with him. Those who can tear themselves away from the queue for the Harrods’ sale in London (do people still do this?) can come to the Conway Hall in London on 29 December for a day (2pm-6.30pm) devoted to Cardew’s works performed by those who knew him.

A personal note: I had completed my second semester of my MA and my first trip to Britain was the usual cheap haul nightmare on December 18, 1981. We had to disembark from the plane far out on the tarmac and be bused to customs because of heavy snow. I waited for almost an hour for my host, Christopher Hobbs, to appear: he had had to run two miles to his nearest tube station because the buses could not make it up the hill to his part of town because of heavy snows. As we made our way from Heathrow to his house, Chris told me that he would have to leave me the next day because he had to go to his Cardew’s funeral, and explained what he knew of the circumstances, the most serious outcome of that season’s rotten weather.

Chris went. He told me that it was a moving service: Bach was played and the Internationale sung. I felt that I couldn’t go. I hadn’t met him, although I knew him — his works — well. I had first come across his views of notational aesthetics and psychology in “Notation, Interpretation, etc.,” while doing a paper on notational aesthetics as an undergraduate and had played Octet ’61Autumn ’60, and Paragraph 6 of The Great Learning. I owned Scratch Music— as did most of the people I knew, as its 99¢ cover price made it about the cheapest book in any music book store, even in the 1970s. I was a fan, but a fan who would have called him “Mr. Cardew” (or would have avoided any address until I had felt comfortable enough for a first name). I still refer to “Cardew”, as I will never have a chance to meet him; “Cornelius” – still more, “Cor” – is for his friends.

Cardew’s death had hit everyone in British experimental music and to some extent brought them back together for the first time since the Scratch Orchestra. Spats between Marxists and non-Marxists of professional and non-professional musicians were put aside. Cardew’s young age — he was only 45 at the time — made the sense of urgency to keep ties and to take note of important events and works more keen. I was caught up in this: the people I talked to on that vacation all had Cardew’s life and works at the forefront of their discussions and this led to my choosing Cardew and other British experimentalists for my MA thesis and pretty much everything I written about since.

At the time of his death there were signs that Cardew was going to enter more fully back into experimental and new music: he had agreed to take part in a concert with AMM, for instance. It’s too bad that we couldn’t see how that artistic life may have continued. I really wish that I had met Cardew. I’m only one among many who learned from him and who were affected deeply by his ideas.

Virginia Anderson, 13 December 2001