Scratch Orchestra dealer concert - Porto May 2010
A rare micro-performance of a Scratch Orchestra 'Dealer Concert' at the Culturgest, Porto as part of their 'Cornelius Cardew: the freedom of listening' exhibition. Three visual artists who were prominent members of the Scratch Orchestra, two of them also musicians: Keith Rowe, Carole Finer and Stefan Szczelkun played in three sections.

A SCRATCH ORCHESTRA DEALER CONCERT
dealt by Carole Finer

Introduction by Dean Inkster

1. Improvisation Rite by Cornelius Cardew from 'Nature Study Notes'
CCPR16 Within a certain overall playing-time, each player determines by random means one or more stretches during which he will play, for the rest remaining silent.
Players with access to mechanical or electrical equipment may make 2 parts, one of which would be performed by the mechanical or electrical equipment, the player simply switching it on and off at the appropriate points.

Poem Rite, derived from 'Poem' by LaMonte Young.

LaMonte Youngs poem was about moving, 'Benches, Chairs and Tables'. Stefan used this to interpret the score. Keith also made the sounds of moving and the sounds of drawing, (that is the sounds of drawing something which is being moved)

Q &A by Inkster

2. A Popular Classic - 'Summer Holiday' by Cliff Richard. Carole played a series of three notes from the tune on prepared banjo and with the help of a red toy London bus. Keith played the tune (Esther Phillips “And I love him”) playing on the bus from his iPod. Stefan chalked cryptic data from his research on summer holidays on a wall.

Q &A by Inkster

3. Each performer chooses one or more compositions of his or her choosing, simultaneously.
Keith Rowe - 'For Strings' by Howard Skempton; 'Sticks, Stones' by Christian Wolff and Earle Brown's '4 systems' (Cantus Firmus version)
Stefan Szczelkun - Kerr-ching for 1 (a response to the venue having been a grand bank foyer.}
Carole Finer - 'Raindrops' by Hugh Shrapnel
Carole and Stefan also briefly used a new composition by Dave Jackman - 'Strewth!'.

Guest Curators: Jean Jacques Palix and Dean Inkster. Photos of performance taken by JJ Palix.

Culturgest curators: Susana Sameiro & Miguel Sequeira Wandschneider

Recorded for Portugese Radio

The Porto Scratch Orchestra Dealer concert was significant, and probably unique, for two reasons:

1. Carole Finer was too old to have been given the chance to organise a Dealer concert during the Seventies. as the Dealer concerts were allocated in order of age, with youngest members first. Porto was the first time she had the chance to organise a Scratch Orchestra Concert. (and Keith still hasn't done one!)

2. Kieth Rowe's idea that a Improvisation concert 'can be interrupted at any time by the audience for questions' was put into practice. The radical importance of this change to convention should not be underestimated in the light of the demise of the original Scratch Orchestra.

Altho in Porto it was enacted through an audience representative, in the person of Dean Inkster, this was a radical breach of the convention by which such concerts are usually 'protected' by a high art frame of reference which would see audience interruption as an affront to the inviolable agency of the artist and their separation from the audience. It acts to break the usual mystique that can surround such 'ordinary' activity.

I think that this was a significant innovation towards a more democratic rapport with audiences. Keith's idea is that the audience is entreated to interrupt at any time to comment or ask questions... The music making can never sail way ahead of an audiences comprehension! In this was the audience and players are rejoined.
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