Pictures of the Scratch Orchestra

Being the Experimental Music Catalogue, one of our favourite topics is that of the Scratch Orchestra, an experimental ensemble founded by Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons, and Howard Skempton. After all, the founder of the EMC, Chris Hobbs, was the designer of their first concert, at Hampstead Town Hall, in November 1969. Over recent years, more pictures of the Scratch Orchestra have emerged, showing them realising Improvisation Rites, Scratch Compositions, and Scratch Music of all sorts. But Frank Abbott, a member of the SO in 1972, has just uploaded a set of pictures of the Scratch Orchestra at play.

Here they are on a trip to the Munich Olympics, having fun in and around a swimming pool.

Frank Abbott was asking for confirmation of names and the exact trip. These are the names, as best we can find out (thanks to Dave Smith for identification. There are tales to tell about this trip and the people in it, but first we’d like to pin down these people, so if you know them, do let us, or Frank, know.

UPDATE: Bryn Harris has kindly added to our knowledge on these pictures: ‘Just to advise that the location was the swimming pool adjacent to our camp site at Solbad Hall, Tirol, to which we moved straight after Munich in summer 1972’. It certainly looks like you all were having fun, Bryn!

Picture 1: + Walter Cardew?

Picture 2: +Horace Cardew?

Picture 3: Tim Mitchell’s child?

Picture 4: same?

Picture 5: Tim Mitchell’s wife or a friend of John Tilbury

Picture 6: John Tilbury

Picture 7: Barbara Pearce

Picture 8: Chris May

Picture 9: John Bangs

Picture 10: Kevin Richards

Picture 11: Stella Cardew

Picture 12: Pete O’Sullivan

Picture 13: Catherine Williams

Picture 14: Cornelius Cardew

Picture 15: John Bangs

Picture 16: Unknown

Picture 17: Bryn Harris

Picture 18: Carole Finer

Picture 19: Dave Smith

Picture 20: Jenny Robbins

Picture 21: Dave Russell

Picture 22: Ian Ward

Picture 23: Wahid?

Picture 24: Hugh Shrapnel

Picture 25: Lisa Major

Picture 26: Penny Jordan

Picture 29: Alec Hill

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.

2 thoughts on “Pictures of the Scratch Orchestra”

  1. Virginia, Correction! Frank Abbott put the photos on Flickr, not Tim x

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