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.
Look down the ramp to the loading bay entrance. Let your gaze drift up. Beware of vehicles.
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.
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, RomeListen to the audio created for The Loading Bay