The Loading Bay

The Loading Bay

Royal Albert Hall, Loading Bay, Prince Consort Road, London SW7

The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert – to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sceiences. Opened in March 1871, it’s a Grade I listed building well known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941.

Listening Suggestion

Look down the ramp to the loading bay entrance. Let your gaze drift up. Beware of vehicles. 

Location (8) on the Music Walk map

Listen to the music created for the Loading Bay

Programme Notes

DJ Albert Spins Cage and Cardew is a fanciful title that connects both the site and the illustrious history of London’s Royal Albert Hall – whose loading dock is the location for this installation – with two of the 20th centuries most revered and feared musical upstarts.

Once friends and then antagonists, both John Cage and Cornelius Cardew were, for as long as I knew them, most influential guides to my own entry into the post-avant garde musical arena. This work is an homage to both of these radical purveyors of musical liberation and to their powerful, often conflicting, visionary acts and questionings.

London Sinfonietta Academy perform a fragment from my Triadic Limbo, with cinema verité-like rehearsal takes of the score’s sequence of dysfunctional tonal triads. Cardew is heard reading fragments from Stockhausen Serves Imperialism, his denunciation of bourgeois music. Cage erupts in his classic Zen laughter. A disembodied disco-beat pattern (my playing on leather sofa and a chair at home) comes and goes. Samples of improvised sax music (Steve Lacy and the Rova Sax Quartet) and farmyard geese break in with fleeting commentary.  Yes, an ice-cream cone piled dangerously with every flavor in the shop, but short and hopefully sweet.

Thanks to Robert Worby.

Performance Credits

Conductor: Andrew Gourlay

Flute: Holly Melia

Oboe: Aislilng Maguire

Clarinet: Harry Michalas

Contra Basson: Rosie Burton

Cor Anglais: Lydia Griffiths

Saxophone: Michaela Stapleton

Horn: Rebecca Alexander

Trumpet: Sarah Campbell

Bass trombone: Rory Cartmell

Percussion: Sarah Cresswell, Joe Richards

Harp: Claudia Studer

Piano: Alex Wilson

Violin: Alice Barron, Amy Tress

Viola: Glen Donnelly

Violoncello: Alice Purton

Contrabass: Jim Vandespar

Composer: Alvin Curran

Producer: Alvin Curran, Lyndon Jones

Mixing, editing, processing: Luca Spagnoletti, Rome

Listen to the audio created for The Loading Bay

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