• Virginia Anderson deposited The EMC: Past, Present, Future on Humanities Commons 4 years, 9 months ago

    In 1968, the pianist John Tilbury and the composer Cornelius Cardew, having built up a great body of experimental music, asked the then-youngest member of the experimental music community, eighteen-year-old Christopher Hobbs, to create a method of disseminating these pieces to other musicians. Hobbs founded the Experimental Music Catalogue (the EMC), which took off so well that by 1971 the EMC was run by a committee consisting of Hobbs, Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman. The EMC was distinctive as a small publishing initiative in its Anthologies of score collections grouped according to instrument or activity (the Keyboard Anthology, Educational Anthology, Verbal Anthology) and in its insistence that composers kept rights and other decisions regarding their works. From 1969 to the early 1980s, the EMC sent experimental and minimalist music by mail order to an international audience, representing British experimental and systems music worldwide in scores as Brian Eno’s Obscure Records represented it worldwide in sound. Although the EMC mailing address was in London, much of the musical activity from these composers occurred at Leicester Polytechnic (the predecessor of this festival’s host, De Montfort University), where Bryars had founded a music department steeped in the ethos that created the EMC. Indeed, the EMC, revived by Hobbs and Virginia Anderson in 1999 as a web-based publisher and record label, is now based in Leicester. This lecture, the keynote for the festival, shall explore English experimental, minimal and postminimal music as part of the history of the EMC, much of which appeared at the EMC2: Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue weekend. [VA]