21 minutes | Mar 9, 2020

No. 1 - The Great Learning

In the inaugural episode of Ghost Echoes, a suffragette reinvents a bawdy theatre, a professor locks his students in a classroom to see what happens, and a piece of avant-garde music with clearly delineated rules inspires a music history podcast with secret rules.  Music and Sound Notes:  - The music that starts this episode and recurs later is "Paragraph 7" of Cornelius Cardew & The Scratch Orchestra's The Great Learning. The full piece is a huge work in many parts (“paragraphs”), but this record contains only paragraphs two and seven.  - The Emma Cons section features the first movement from Haydn's String Quartet Op. 54, No. 1 performed by Marlburo Music (in the section about the Old Vic) and the March from Holst's Second Suite for Military Band performed by the USAF Heritage of America Band (in the section about Morley College). Also, there’s a quick snippet of “Mars” from Holst’s The Planets, plus cameos from Graham Chapman and John Cleese in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Fawlty Towers, respectively.  - The strident bit of noise that repeats for comedic effect is not straightforwardly by Cardew—it is an extract from AMMMusic, the debut record by the free improvisation group AMM, of which Cardew was a member.  - The section about Cardew's classes at Morley College contains cameo appearances by John Cage's Variations I as recorded by the Motion Ensemble, and Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel from the Houston Chamber Choir's 2016 recording. (Cardew's students probably didn't actually perform Rothko Chapel, but they did study music by Feldman and this is a representative example.) -Later, there's a brief incursion of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gruppen, performed by the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln with three conductors: Bruno Maderna, Michael Gielen and Stockhausen himself (it's a very complicated piece). 
Play Next