London Experimental Ensemble – “Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise” (Split Rock Records, 2018)

“Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise” was recently released by “Split Rock Records”. Album compositions were recorded by “London Experimental Ensemble”. The members of this ensemble are creative and interesting musicians – it’s Carole Finer (objects, cumbus), Jordan Muscatello (double bass), Ollie Brice (double bass), Keisuke Matsui and NO Moore (electric guitar), Tonie Hardie – Bick (piano, artwork), Antonio Acunzo (electric bass, piano), John Eyles (saxophone), Eddie Prevost (sleeve notes), Daniel Kordik, Ken Ikeda (synthesizer), Edward Lucas (trombone), Elo Masing (violin). This ensemble plays the music by various electronic, experimental and contemporary academical music composers. The interpretations have effective and evocative sound, are full of interesting and creative musical decisions, innovative musical experiments, special effects and unusual sounds. The musicians of the ensemble can masterfully fuse together many different pieces and musical language elements – rich and bright musical language, free, inventive, creative and passionate playing, huge variety of playing techniques and expressions are the most important elements of their music. Ensemble had played and recorded many masterpieces of contemporary academical and electronic music composers. This time the music of Cornelius Cardew was recorded – “London Experimental Ensemble” had recorded his one of the most famous compositions “Treatise”.

Cornelius Cardew was a contemporary music composer. His music was based on various styles of modern classical music, electronic and experimental music, also had the intonations of spectral and concrete music. Cornelius Cardew music is full of many different music language elements, which are highly contrasting with each other. He paid the highest attention to the creation of unusual, weird and evocative sound. The most part of Cornelius Cardew compositions are based on electronic and experimental music. Weird sounds and timbres, field recordings, sonic system experiments, the sounds of various devices, spectral and concrete music elements, tape recordings, the melodies of synthesizer and various electronic music instruments – all these things are the most important in Corneliud Cardew music. Composer had created and masterfully improved his own and original playing style. He didn’t avoid to experiment in all fields and sections of musical language – the search of strange timbres, weird, extravagant and provocative musical decisions, the extraction of new and unusual electronic music sounds and other similar things were the most important elements of his music. The music of Cornelius Cardew has bright and evocative musical language. The elements of spectral, concrete, experimental and electronic music were masterfully and organically blended together with academic avant-garde and free improvisations. His compositions usually are somewhere between free improvisation, experimental and electronic and academic avant-garde. Free form, constantly changing harmony, original and interesting musical decisions, independent melodies and other elements are colorfully illustrated by electronic music timbres and sounds. Cornelius Cardew also was the master of combining together acoustics and electronics. Soft, bright and natural timbres of acoustic instruments are gently combined together with the sounds of synthesizer, other electronics instruments, tape and field recordings and other electronic music playing techniques. The main part of his compositions were dedicated for chamber ensembles – he also was a creator of very well known experimental music collective “Scratch Orchestra”.

The music of this album has interesting and original sound. One of the most famous Cornelius Cardew compositions is recorded here – it’s “Treatise”. It’s the composition for chamber experimental music ensemble. The composition already had been played many times by various famous and masterful ensembles. This performance has especially effective and expressive sound. Masterful ,organic and subtle combination of acoustic and electronic instruments, various innovative special effects, rich musical language, passionate and effective playing of all ensemble musicians bring interesting, evocative and innovative sound of this composition. This composition is based on abstract musical pattern and free structure. It reveal all the main elements of Cornelius Cardew music – independent and expressive melodies, special effects, unusual sounds and timbres, colorful harmony, free improvisation and dynamic mood. This music is based on contrasts and sudden changes of musical language, moods, characters and playing techniques. Acoustic instruments section has effective and bright sound. Expressive, vivacious and interesting reeds melodies, bright and turbulent solos, deep and loud brass solos, dynamic, expressive and passionate piano melodies, dramatic and evocative sounds strings section – each instrument bring new color and effect the sound of whole album. The acoustic section is based on huge range of playing techniques and expressions. Rigorous arpeggios, loud and deep blow outs, vibrant solos, expressive, vivacious and rapid melodies, colorful glissando, subtle pizzicatto, shrieky and dramatic violin sounds are gently combined together with experimental and innovative ways of playing. Electronic music section also has effective and original sound. The melodies of electric bass and synthesizer are full of unusual and weird sounds, strange and innovative musical decisions and eclectic combinations. Sonic system experiments, experimental ways of playing, special effects, sounds of electronic devices and other innovative playing techniques of electronic and experimental music bring effective and original sound to this album. This interpretation of “Treatise” highly differs from the other performances of the same composition. It’s based on masterful synthesis between acoustics and electronics, are full of innovative and evocative musical decisions and have remarkable and expressive sound.

18 thoughts on “London Experimental Ensemble – “Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise” (Split Rock Records, 2018)”

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