Cornelius Cardew – Treatise

Workshop (with Jaka Berger)

Freitag, 26. Jänner 2024 · 14:00 Uhr


Written between 1963 and 1967, Treatise by composer Cornelius Cardew is a graphic musical score comprising 193 pages of lines, symbols, and various geometric or abstract shapes that largely eschew conventional musical nota4on. Implicit in the title is a reference to the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which was of particular inspiration to Cardew in composing the work.[1] The score is not accompanied by any explicit instructions to the performers in how to perform the work, or what sound-producing means are to be used. Although the bottom of each page has two five-line musical staves, this is apparently not meant to suggest piano or other keyboard instrument(s), only to indicate that the graphic elements are musical and not purely artistic in character.

Slovenian percussionist Jaka Berger (1980) has been working with the late Cornelius Cardew’s (1936-1981) seminal graphic score since 2009. “Treatise” is often labelled as a creative excercise for smaller or larger groups of instrumentalists, yet throughout his published works “46/3/84/115” from 2015, and “Breakfast With Cardew” from 2021 and recorded on acoustic drums as a solo in 2022, Berger has been dealing with one of the largest-scale piece of graphic notations ever put on paper, alone.

The workshop will be focused on approaching Treatise from the point of improvisation and individual interpretation. The challange will be to find a collective voice from the sellection of 193 pages, that will be picked and interpreted by students. The gathering will include excercises in challenging our own aproach to improvising that were presented to Jaka by guitarist and friend of Cornelius Cardew, Keith Rowe.


Workshop in English, participation free of charge.

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The workshop will be followed by a concert evening starting at 8 p.m.: Jaka Berger solo · Workshop-Präsentation