Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning was originally composed for the Scratch Orchestra, an ensemble of non-trained musicians who interpreted verbal and graphic scores, and who were active from 1969-1974. Paragraph 7 from The Great Learning is a verbal score composed of 24 lines of text. Each line indicates a new word or phrase, and is repeated a different number of times and at different amplitude levels, as indicated in the score. Members of the choir choose a new pitch for each new line, always matching pitches that are already sounding in the room; they introduce a previously unheard pitch when no new pitch can be found or sung from the existing group of pitches.
The text for The Great Learning is based on translations of Confucius by Ezra Pound. The entire text for Paragraph 7 reads, "If the root be in confusion, nothing will be well governed. The solid cannot be swept away as trivial and nor can trash be established as solid. It just does not happen. Mistake not cliff for morass and treacherous bramble."
In our installation version of this work, two different recordings of 'Paragraph 7' were screened simultaneously on opposite walls in a darkened room. Each screen shows 4 simultaneously recorded videos inter-weaved to appear as a single, continuous shot.
Featuring Bird On A Wire: Niesha Allen, Rachel Austin, Pawet Bignell, Matt Green, Ciara Hickey, Gascia Ouzounian, Una Monaghan, Matthew Roger, Sile O'Modrhain, Richard O'Rawe, Tara Plunkett, Caroline Pugh
Installation version by Gascia Ouzounian & Conan McIvor. Directed by Gascia Ouzounian. Filmed by Conan McIvor and Stuart Sloan. Edited by Conan McIvor. Recorded by Chris Corrigan. Sonic Lab, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, 2010.
Installed at Ormeau Baths Gallery, 'Arrivals' exhibit, curated by Ciara Hickey. Summer 2010.
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