The Great Learning (Paragraph 7)

by Cornelius Cardew

  • This edition of the Great Learning (Paragraph 7) has 3 versions of the composition by Cornelius Cardew:

    -an interactive, software based version
    -a video version
    -an installation version

    The edition comes in a bamboo box containing a custom USB stick (with software & video recordings) and a set of 11 double-sided colour-printed cards. **NOTE** The software can be played on any Macintosh computer.

    This box by Optophono features three different realisations of 'Paragraph 7', the last of seven paragraphs or movements that together comprise the English composer Cornelius Cardew's 1969-70 opus The Great Learning. Like the other movements in The Great Learning, Paragraph 7 is scored for untrained performers (here the indication is for 'any number of untrained voices') and is based on the writings of Confucius. The composition is notated using only verbal instructions, and was originally recorded by the Scratch Orchestra, an ensemble whose ethos of inclusion and accessibility within musical practice profoundly influenced experimental musical traditions of the mid-20th century.

    Realising 'Paragraph 7' reveals the composition to be as much a social enterprise as it is a musical one. [...] [Full notes available with edition]

    The Great Learning, Paragraph 7 (1969)
    by Cornelius Cardew

    •Interactive Software Version (2014)
    By Gascia Ouzounian and Christopher Haworth
    Featuring Bird On A Wire (choir)
    Software design by Christopher Haworth
    Concept and visual design by Gascia Ouzounian
    Recorded by Gerard Gormley, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, 2014

    Installation* (2010) and Video (2014)
    By Gascia Ouzounian and Conan McIvor
    Featuring Bird On A Wire (choir)
    Directed by Gascia Ouzounian
    Edited by Conan McIvor
    Filmed by Conan McIvor and Stuart Sloan
    Recorded by Chris Corrigan,
    Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, 2010

    *The Installation version was originally
    exhibited as a room-size multichannel
    audio-and-video installation
    at Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast,
    as part of the ‘Arrivals’ exhibit curated
    by Ciara Hickey, Summer 2010.

    Isobel Anderson,
    Rachel Anne Coulter,
    John D’Arcy, Emily Dedakis,
    Matt Green, Claire Hall,
    Ciara Hickey, Clara Kane,
    Meabh Meir, Katharine Phillipa,
    Caroline Pugh, Matthew Rodger,
    Ricki O’Rawe, Gascia Ouzounian

    Cards by Tom Hughes
    Cover and logo design by Ryan O'Reilly
    Edition produced by Gascia Ouzounian
    ... more
    ships out within 3 days

      £25 GBP or more 



released December 2, 2018



Optophono Oxford, UK

Optophono was established in 2013 as a music label that goes beyond fixed recordings. Instead of publishing CDs or DVDs, we make interactive editions that we print on USBs, as downloadable apps or as audiovisual media. Our aim is to change how recordings are conceived and created by artists, and how they are experienced by listeners. ... more

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