"Music is the cup that holds the wine of silence. Sound is that cup, but empty. Noise is that cup, but broken.”

Robert Fripp


"Le rôle de l'artiste créateur est de créer des lois, non pas de suivre celles qui sont déjà faites"
Ferruccio Busoni

"Go, go, go! ... Go! go! ..."
John Lee Hooker

11/05/2018

1968: Towards an Ethic of Improvisation


The famous trio AMM was formed in 1965 by Lou Gare, Eddie Prévost and Keith Rowe. They were involved in the idea of free music , without any direct implication in any style (jazz, avant-garde, rock, classical...etc)
As well Christopher Hobbs who played with the trio, Cornelius Cardew joined the trio in 1966 (*). And in 1968, Christian Wolff joined briefly the band. Later, John Tilbury became a new partner.

Christopher Hobbes, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff
London, International Students Center, 1968

In 68, Cardew wrote the essay "Towards an Ethic of Improvisation" where he described the idea of the freely improvised modes to include all sonic possibilities and permissive to go further in the experiment.

Christopher Hobbs, Lou Gare, Keith Rowe, Cornelius Cardew
Germany 1971

”[…] At the words 'You are the music' something unexpected and mechanically real happens (purely by coincidence two teeth in the cogwheels meet up and mesh) the light changes and a new area of speculation opens based on the identity of the player and his music. 

This kind of thing happens in improvisation. Two things running concurrently in haphazard fashion suddenly synchronise autonomously and sling you forcibly into a new phase. Rather like in the 6-day cycle race when you sling your partner into the next lap with a forcible handclasp. Yes, improvisation is a sport too, and a spectator sport, where the subtlest interplay on the physical level can throw into high relief some of the mystery of being alive. […] ”  C.C.


https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjek7ra5NXaAhVF26QKHc92ALsQjhx6BAgAEAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thewire.co.uk%2Fgalleries%2Fgallery_photos-from-the-amm-archive&psig=AOvVaw3YRNjhwOx6BmmFiN-s3dbV&ust=1524758103368158 
AMM. Langtry Road, 1968. pic Frazer Pearce
 

”[…] my own TREATISE which consists of 193 pages of graphic score with no systematic instructions as to the interpretation and only the barest hints (such as an empty pair of 5line systems below every page) to indicate that the interpretation is to be musical. […]  Ideally such music should be played by a collection of musical innocents; but in a culture where musical education is so widespread (at least among musicians) and getting more and more so, such innocents are extremely hard to find. Treatise attempts to locate such musical innocents wherever they survive, by posing a notation that does not specifically demand an ability to read music. On the other hand, the score suffers from the fact that it does demand a certain facility in reading graphics, ie a visual education. […] ”  C.C.



 

three pages of "Treatise"
with Michel Guillet, Jean-Jacques Palix, Marcus Schmickler and Samon Takahashi
for the exhibition "Cornelius Cardew and the freedom of listening"
CAC de Brétigny sur Orge - June 2009
shot by Benoit Lesieux


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