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Architecture and Freedom in Cornelius Cardew's Octet ’61 for Jasper Johns

Architecture and Freedom in Cornelius Cardew's Octet ’61 for Jasper Johns Cornelius Cardew's Octet ’61 for Jasper Johns is ‘not necessarily for piano’, an epithet which gives advance warning of its eccentricity. With an adventurous presentation that encompasses radical forms of musical indeterminacy, it appears to exhibit all the hallmarks of the American Experimental tradition with which Cardew associated in the 1960s. Yet, layer upon layer of order exists below its seemingly unruly surface. Guided by a previously undocumented compositional plan, this article explores the carefully organised layout of Cardew's graphic imagery. A survey of the distribution of symbols reveals an elaborate infrastructure that exemplifies ideas inherited not from experimentalism, but rather the post‐war European avant‐garde, a discovery which problematises the distinction commonly drawn between the serial and experimental phases of Cardew's career. A concluding review of the more conventionally notated realisation embedded within his Three Winter Potatoes interrogates the unusual interplay between design in the parent work and the freedoms that it sanctions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Architecture and Freedom in Cornelius Cardew's Octet ’61 for Jasper Johns

Music Analysis , Volume 41 (2) – Jul 1, 2022

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12194
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cornelius Cardew's Octet ’61 for Jasper Johns is ‘not necessarily for piano’, an epithet which gives advance warning of its eccentricity. With an adventurous presentation that encompasses radical forms of musical indeterminacy, it appears to exhibit all the hallmarks of the American Experimental tradition with which Cardew associated in the 1960s. Yet, layer upon layer of order exists below its seemingly unruly surface. Guided by a previously undocumented compositional plan, this article explores the carefully organised layout of Cardew's graphic imagery. A survey of the distribution of symbols reveals an elaborate infrastructure that exemplifies ideas inherited not from experimentalism, but rather the post‐war European avant‐garde, a discovery which problematises the distinction commonly drawn between the serial and experimental phases of Cardew's career. A concluding review of the more conventionally notated realisation embedded within his Three Winter Potatoes interrogates the unusual interplay between design in the parent work and the freedoms that it sanctions.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2022

References