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Ensemble

Museum Culture?

Experimental music by Cage, Cowell,
Feldman, Rzewski, Satie and Wolff,
heard by MALCOLM MILLER

 

If anyone had the impression that the experimental schools stemming from the 1960s had run their course, they would have been happily surprised by the recent three-day festival Experiment!, presented by the London Sinfonietta at Kings Place, London, UK (29 April to 1 May 2010). For alongside highlights of the American and British schools of the sixties and seventies, the programmes featured a European première of a new piano work performed by the composer Frederic Rzewski, fresh spontaneous improvisational music by a Scratch Band (structured on the lines of the original Cardew Scratch Orchestra) and a cutting edge crossover collaboration between the London Sinfonietta and (ever open to new influences ...) the pop-indie band 'Micachu'.

The concerts were spiced by foyer music, 'Meet the Sinfonietta' pre-concert interviews and the iconic Vexations by Satie, the 840 repetitions of its chord sequence played by a team of pianists between 6am and midnight on 1 May. The attractive format was devised by the new music author and broadcaster Robert Worby, designated 'curator', and indeed some of the older works performed have acquired the aura of a museum piece, yet no less relevant and stimulating for that...

Copyright © 5 May 2010 Malcolm Miller,
London UK

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ERIK SATIE

HENRY COWELL

MORTON FELDMAN

JOHN CAGE

LONDON

UNITED KINGDOM

FRANCE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

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