Cornelius Cardew

Play for Today

Cornelius Cardew (1936 – 1981) was an experimental British composer whose activities, particularly with the Scratch Orchestra (1969 – 1974), both reflected and contributed to the breaking down of barriers between different disciplines that took place during the 1960s.

This book reflects on the legacy of Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra in the light of contemporary art forms that engage with collaborative, participatory and improvisatory practices.

The book complements an exhibition of the original score of Treatise (1963 – 1967), Cardew’s impressive 193 page graphic score, original manuscripts, Scratch Books and other archival material brought together for the first time in the UK.

The contributing artists, writers and curators pursue and rekindle the questions and contradictions that Cardew’s practice incorporated.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Cornelius Cardew: Play For Today at The Drawing Room, London, 5 November – 13 December 2009.

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