[rumori] from scratch (fwd)

From: { brad brace } (bbraceATeskimo.com)
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 16:46:26 PDT

>From 1969 and on the "Scratch Orchestra" was an astonishingly well
functioning social music phenomenon, a whole music culture in itself.
It was founded by Cornelius Cardew, a teacher of composition at the
London Morley College at that time. For the Scratch Orchestra,
Anglo-Saxon experimental music was the most important source of
inspiration, not jazz. The name "Scratch Orchestra" implies the idea
of starting from scratch. It had between thirty and forty members,
among them were professional musicians, other kinds of performing
artists, and amateurs who went to the rehearsals not only just to
prepare music for concerts, but also enjoyed it as a social event. The
orchestra had it's own special music genres, and everybody
participated creatively. "Compositions" might be made by non-members.
For instance Christian Wolff who for some time lived in London and
whose ideas were close to those of the Scratch Orchestra.

"Scratch Music" was a special kind of community music-making taking
place according to the participant's own quite individual recipes. It
constituted an introduction to the rehearsals which was carried on
until everybody had arrived and were ready to go on. Everybody was
playing at the same time according to own verbal or graphic
introductions. In so doing, a quiet music was supposed to be produced
in which everybody accompanied everybody else.

Another genre of the "Scratch Orchestra" which fused a jolly popular
atmosphere with avant-garde boldness in a singular way was the
"Popular Classics". In these a short excerpt, a particle from
well-known, often classical music, was played. The resulting music
sounded like a parody or a joke - but it was in fact a seriously meant
activity in which participants on one side attempted to play the music
correctly and at the same time accepted everything that happened in
the process.

The "Scratch Orchestra" ended its activities in 1973.


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