This item is not in the library — it is a part of: C. Cardew (ed.), Nature Study Notes (full, 1969).

For any number of people, preferably unknown to each other, making any kind of vocal or physical sound; no instruments to be used.

Performance to take place in any large area, inside or outside, with everyone scattered throughout whole areas, widely separated from each other as possible. A person stays in the same place throughout the performance; physical motion of all kind to be kept to a minimum.

Sounds can be of any kind produced from the person, i.e. vocal sounds (singing, speaking, whispering, shouting, crying, laughing, hissing, etc) or from the body (hissing, slapping, clapping, etc).

Sounds are made mainly in response to other sounds, therefore a sound made should have some meaning to the person making it. This meaning can be verbal (conversational) or aural (musical), or a combination of both. A response can be immediate (spontaneous reaction to some kind of sound, probably verbal) or reflective (probably musical). He can also arouse the response of other people by some sound; or he can just listen. In general the nature of the improvisation should be still and reflective.

The performance ends for each person individually when he has nothing more he wants to do. He may then get up and leave, this being the only physical movement he makes.


Improvisation Rite. Variant: Replace first 12 lines with :- Any number of people making any sounds. Perform in a large area, as widely separated from each other as possible. Performers stay in the same place throughout, keeping physical movement to a minimum.

Hugh Shrapnel
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