emc ball

Experimental Music Catalogue

experimental music since 1969


Gavin Bryars' Official Web Site: Probably one of the more well-known British experimental composers, Gavin Bryars is also a former guardian of the EMC, and held faith with it until he deposited archives in the British Music Information Centre in the early 1980s. Gavin's site is incredibly informative, with loads of links (including a mirror site link back to us!), performance dates and data and history. Along with his music publisher Schott (see below), this is the best official Bryars source on the web.

Musicnow: the centre for information on English experimental music, Cornelius Cardew, the Scratch Orchestra.

Matchless Recordings: Home recording company for the legendary improvisation group AMM, stalwarts of the English experimental scene, Matchless also has a lot of other good recordings devoted to experimental and jazz musics.

Danny Dark Records: This is a label and publishing firm run by our friends, Cornelius Cardew's sons Walter and Horace Cardew. It's great. If you've liked the Danny Dark recording on our site, there's more, like another Walter Cardew album, more Cornelius Cardew stuff, t-shirts and so on. Brand new, looks cool!

Frog Peak Music: An American music publishing collective which has works by a surprising number of famous composers. Michael Parsons is one.

Incalcando:A publication company which provides music in pdf format by e-mail, which the user then prints out for him- or herself. Currently it seems to be dormant, but when it is up and running, Dave Smith has several of his compostions on this site. There's still a statement on the Iraq situation by John Tilbury, though.

British Music Information Centre: London base for British composers and British music. A good site for contacts with composers and contemporary music groups. They have a good library collection of British music, a lot quite rare. Chris Hobbs has some music on this site. The BMIC was the home of the great experimental concerts at its base on Stratford Place from the 1970s until they stopped having concerts there a couple of years ago (and now they've moved from there as well). Oh, we do pine for those days, as they were the last reasonably-priced venue in London! Their new place doesn't have the space for concerts. But Matthew and the others who work at the BMIC are very nice, friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, so when you're in London, look them up at 75 Westminster Bridge Road, and while you're at it, stop in to see your MP and ask why the Arts Council doesn't give the BMIC the support to put on concerts several times a week at no cost to the artsts, as happened in the 1970s and 1980s. Come on, Tony, why can't your government support the arts at least as well as Thatcher's? For shame!

Schott Music: Gavin Bryars' music publisher. Schott publish most of Bryars' current work and have kindly linked to this site, as Bryars has allowed the archival publication of almost all of his EMC work. For newer Bryars, try this link.

Coma: Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs.. This is one of the best music things in Britain. You can join (there are Coma outlets throughout the country) and take part in modern music no matter what your experience or ability. Every year they have a summer school, which sounds like summer camp for modern musicians. John Tilbury has taught there, so has Dave Smith, and Howard Skempton was on the board last time we looked. When they do experimental music, it's a big success, like the Coma performance of Paragraph 6 of The Great Learning at the Huddersfield Festival a couple of years ago. They should do more of this and have more experimental commissions - then it would be heaven.

Aurora Scratch Orchestra. Warren Summers is the brains and brawn behind some of the most interesting things happening in Australia experimental music-wise these days (if you know of other good things down under, let us know!), including a multi-lingual performance of Paragraph 7 of The Great Learning and the upcoming performance of Terry Riley's Olsen III at EarDay 06 on May 6, 2006.

Gemini: London-based ensemble, run by Ian Mitchell, which plays an astounding variety of music. Mitchell is one of Britian's finest new-music clarinettists, and is releasing the first British all-bass-clarinet recordings this autumn. Gemini has, in the past, commissioned and performed music by English experimental composers John White, Christopher Hobbs, Gavin Bryars, Howard Skempton, Michael Parsons, Ben Mason and Dave Smith.

Cold Blue: Another revival of a 1970s institution, Cold Blue was a pioneering record label specialising in West Coast music. Reflecting the unerring tastes and interests of its founder, Jim Fox, it is expected that future Cold Blue releases will be as desirable to own as those of the past.

Anomalous Records: Once one of the best distribution companies of experimental, improvisational, and other independent music on the web, this is now a recording company in its own right. Good stuff, well researched.

Black Box: Home site for the label releasing Ian Mitchell's new CD, the edge of the world. This CD includes works by Cardew, Hobbs, Smith, White, and Childs.

Text & Graphix Catalogue: Klaus Ib Jorgensen is webmaster for this very interesting site run by the Society for the Publication of Danish Music. This is a great source of graphic and improvisation-based pieces, both for performance and for education purposes.