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by Cornelius Cardew

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Dave Aftandilian
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Dave Aftandilian Fascinating exploration of English experimental composer Cornelius Cardew’s notoriously difficult creation _Treatise_. Not quite a musical composition, not quite a work of design, the score for _Treatise_ offers the performer almost infinite freedom to bring their own imaginative expression to the work. Jaka Berger’s excellent percussive performances suit _Treatise_ well, highlighting its moody, philosophical aspects. A challenging listen, but also starkly beautiful.
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Compact disc housed in stylish 6-panel digipack with transparent tray are available to order from 1 October, 2022

Jaka Berger: drums, objects, percussion / bobni, predmeti, tolkala

Composed by / skladbe: Cornelius Cardew
Performed by / izvedba: Jaka Berger
Recorded by / snemanje: Jaka Berger at Gallery Simulaker in Novo mesto, Slovenia on 19-22/11/2021 / v Galeriji Simulaker v Novem mestu, Slovenija, 19-22. 11. 2021
Mixed and mastered by / mešal in masteriziral: Jure Gruden
Liner notes by / spremna beseda: László Juhász
Photo by / foto: Maid Hadžihasanović
Graphic scores by / grafična notacija: Cornelius Cardew
Graphic design by / oblikovanje: László Szakács
Executive producer / izvršna producentka: Nataša Serec
Associate producer / producent: László Juhász
Special thanks to / posebna zahvala: Seymour Wright, Eddie Prévost, Horace Cardew, and / in Fiona Corbett-Clark & Christoph Beyer (Edition Peters Group)

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

Treatise v solo izvedbi

Slovenski tolkalec Jaka Berger (1980) se od leta 2009 spoprijema s temeljno grafično partituro Corneliusa Cardewa (1936-1981). “Treatise” je pogosto označen kot ustvarjalna vaja za manjše ali večje skupine instrumentalistov, toda Berger se v vseh svojih objavljenih delih “46/3/84/115” iz leta 2015 in “Breakfast With Cardew” iz leta 2021 sam ukvarja z enim najobsežnejših grafičnih zapisov, kar jih je bilo kdajkoli prenesenih na papir.

Izzivanje samoinvencije

Cardew delu, napisanemu med letoma 1963 in 1967 ter objavljenemu pri založbi Edition Peters leta 1967, ni dodal nobenih navodil, kako naj bi ga interpretirali ali izvajali. 67 različnim simbolov (geometrijskih in abstraktnih oblik), ki jih Cardew uporablja v nedoločenem času trajanja obsežne 193-stranske partiture in od katerih večina nima nikakršne povezave s konvencionalnim glasbenim zapisom, ni bila pripisana nobena opredelitev. “Treatise” je abstrakten diagram konceptov, ki postavljajo pod vprašaj meje tega, kaj v resnici pomeni nadzorovati zvok, določati čas in prostor ter dešifrirati simbole, ki nas obkrožajo.

Ker skladba dopušča popolno interpretativno svobodo, ni pravih ali napačnih načinov izvedbe – v celoti je odprta za tolmačenje. S pričujočo izvedbo se Berger vrača k osnovam in uporablja svoje primarno glasbilo – bobnarsko garnituro – v najbolj okrnjeni obliki: brez razširitev, brez dodatnih zvočnih virov, le čisti udarci palice, poteze čopiča in risbe z lokom po površini glasbila. Še en markanten mejnik na potovanju “Berger igra Cardewa”.

László Juhász
Avgust 2022

Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) was an English composer who became well known in the 60s for his experimental music and as a proponent in the UK of avant-garde composers such as Cage, Feldman and La Monte Young. He was one of the founders of the Scratch Orchestra in 1969, and an early member of AMM from 1966 until 1973. Many of his works from this period are considered hallmarks of post-war experimental music. In the early 70s, Cardew abandoned avant-garde music and devoted his work to the people's struggle, becoming more directly involved in left-wing activism. He was killed in a hit-and-run accident under circumstances that many consider mysterious.

Ljubljana-based Slovenian musician Jaka Berger (1980) is one of the most active and diverse drummers on the Slovenian music landscape since the release of his debut collaborative album in trio with Samo Šalamon and Achille Succi. Since 2014, he has been creating music for his prepared drum kit, with which he regularly publishing solo works. With his creative ideas and unique approaches he incorporates music into our everyday lives and through it teaches and encourages relationships based on listening, responding, coexisting and cooperating. / jakaberger.com


released October 1, 2022


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Inexhaustible Editions Ljubljana, Slovenia

Inexhaustible Editions is a tiny bedroom label for acoustic and/or electronic improvisation, modern composition and other strange and beautiful sounds we’d love to see released.

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