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

All performers sit in circle. Instruments, if any, within circle. All sit perfectly still (eye movements, blinking, twitching, breathing, etc. do not count as movement). The 1st person to move must start playing his instrument (or make any sounds). As each person moves he must start playing. Only 3 people may play at any one time. So, as a 4th person starts playing, the person who has played longest stops. He resumes his stillness. Continuous stillness should be the aim, rather than playing. People must play their instruments or make their sounds whenever and as often as they break their stillness. The music made by the players should be in sympathy with stillness. Should no participant have moved within the first quarter hour, the piece is abandoned.

The piece ends by (1) if one, two or three players have played for a quarter hour without interruption. (2) At a given time the player who has played longest stops. He resumes his stillness. After this no new person can play again. 5 minutes later the next player who has played longest stops and resumes his stillness. This leaves one lone player who plays on for 5 minutes, then stops. There is one minute of stillness to end the piece.


Stillness. A: ΨΨ vegetation. A second version is the same, but no instruments to be used. Sounds may be made in any other way. À pair of useful rules:
1) Notice the last person to start playing before yoru.
2) While playing, notice when he stops, and thereafter you stop when the next person starts.
Variant (for easier recognition when there are many):
While playing wear a hat; doff it on stopping.

Carole Finer

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