Cornelius Cardew – Treatise

Freitag, 26. Jänner 2024 · 20:00 Uhr


Jaka Berger solo · Workshop-Präsentation

Treatise in solo

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, Berger has been dealing with one of the largest-scale piece of graphic notations ever put on paper, alone.

Challenging the self-invention

Written between 1963 and 1967, and published by Edition Peters in 1967, Cardew added no guidance for how “Treatise” was to be interpreted or performed. No definition was ascribed to the 67 different symbols (geometric and abstract shapes) that Cardew uses over the undetermined duration of the massive 193-page score, most of which are not connected whatsoever to conventional music notation. “Treatise” is an abstarct diagram of concepts that challenge the boundaries of what it really means to control sound, to define time and space, and to decipher symbols around us.

As the composition allows absolute interpretive freedom, there are no right or wrong ways of performing it; it is entirely open to reading. With this present realization, Berger goes back to basics and uses his primary instrument – the drum kit – in its most stripped-down form: no extensions, no additional sound sources, only pure stick hits, brush strokes and bow draws on the surface of his instrument. Another remarkable landmark on the journey of “Berger plays Cardew”. (László Juhász August 2022)


c. Maid Hadžihasanović

Jaka Berger is one of the most active, creative and versatile drummers, composers and improvisers on the Slovenian music scene in the last fifteen years. In 2006 he released his debut album with Samo Šalamon and Achille Succi for Italian label Splasch records. Since 2014 till today he is regularly publishing music for prepared drums that he is constructing by himself. His albums are regularly reviewed by international media on improvisation and electroacoustic music. He is part of experimental sound installation project Partija/The game with visual artist Matej Stupica, member of bands Ludovik Material and Darla Smoking. Performed in independent theater shows Gremo Vsi!, Novo mesto Readymade and Nein. Toured with EBM legends Borghesia. In 2015 he released an album of graphic composition Treatise by Cornelius Cardew. In 2016 he performed his most complex piece Audible life stream tentet for ten musicians. In 2017 finished a japan tour and released a second album with international VOB trio. Currently he is performing free jazz with Mezei Šalamon Berger trio, Džuklje Berger duo and Šalamon Džukljev Berger – Fresh Dust trio (FMR records UK), Bootleg Unit (FMR records UK), released electro acoustic album dedicated to composer Morton Feldman with pianist Dejan Berden and integrating modular synth into his prepared drumset. Since 2020 Jaka is returning to Cornelius Cardew Treatise composition, he released an album called Breakfast with Cardew that received very good reviews in international media. In 2021 he released a book of poetry remixes and sound translations called Poetrix, that includes poems of the best Slovenian independent writers.

In recent years he was a mentor on drumming and musical improvisation workshops and is regularly teaching drums as private lessons. He is constantly upgrading his knowledge and experience in drums, music, composing and improvisation with many different musicians and improvisers from all around the globe and is developing the concept of workshops as a wide collective creative space based on improvisation and communication. With his ideas and approach he incorporates music into our everyday lives and through it teaches and encourages relationships based on listening, responding, coexisting and cooperating.