Cornelius Cardew's opus magnus Treatise is a 193 page graphic score written between 1963 and 1967 while he was performing with the improvisation group AMM. The score's graphic notation, with its intricately devised graphic lines, shapes and symbols was intended to question the limits of compositional practice. Decisions concerning pitch, timbre and duration, along with the choice of instruments and the number of performers, are left entirely to the discretion of those willing to devise the rules and means for its performance.
This realisation of 4 pages from Treatise by Keith Rowe (tabletop guitar) and Oren Ambarchi (guitar), possibly the most powerful ever achieved, was recorded live at Bimhuis in Amsterdam on Feb 8th 2009. Rowe and Ambarchi use the guitar as a point of departure for completely new techniques and sound environments. Already in the 1960s Rowe made a radical departure from traditional jazz, redefining the guitar in the British collectiveÃ‚Â AMM. He prefers to lay the instrument on the table to manipulate its sound with springs, fans, office appliances and electronics. Ambarchi, also in Sunn O))), Menstruation Sisters and Burial Chamber Trio, predominantly mould guitar sounds into dark sonic patterns.
Cornelius Cardew might be considered the most relevant contemporary composer from Great Britain. In the end of the 1950s Karlheinz Stockhausen was very impressed by Cardew's abilities as a musician and his knowledge of new music and invited him to participate to the historical 'Kontrefestival' concerts in Cologne (an important pre-fluxus event). In 1960 Cardew was at Darmstadt were he met John Cage, David Tudor and among others Walter Marchetti. Cage's experimental techniques were very inspiring for Cardew who, in 1969 founded the Scratch Orchestra, a large, rotating group of professional and amateur performers committed to collective experimentation which might be considered asÃ‚Â one of the most convincing collective experiments in the history of 20th century avant-garde culture.
Edition limited to 300 copies, reproducing on the sleeve and the innersleeve the 4 pages from Treatise performed by Rowe-Ambarchi."