A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

1964 Programme of Concerts and Lectures

The following is the contents of the 1964 Programme, held by Bayan Northcott and photographed when I visited him.

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Bayan Northcott

When I first made contact with Bayan Northcott I gave him the address of this blog. On the morning of our meeting (19 November 2009) I noticed a sharp increase in the traffic of this site, and I suspected that perhaps Northcott was the cause. When I arrived at his flat he showed me through to his kitchen where on the table was a laptop, with this blog open. His first words were ‘I think I can fill in some of Hugh Wood’s gaps in memory’ and ‘please record this if you wish’. He had read by post about Hugh Wood and my questions about the ethics of this research methodology. A number of times during the interview he said ‘I am going to have to trust you [not to make public every comment I make]’. Clearly this trust arose in no small part from the contents of my previous posts. It is heartening to see that the methodology is proceeding as might be predicted, and that the potential for this open way of working to form the trust of a community of interrelated people was, at least for this one interview, being realized.

This stage of trust typically arises in response to previously published work, either in the form of other studies made by the researcher that establish a reputation, or in direct response to the research at hand, in the form of a post-publication revisiting.

There is also another, potentially less positive, side to this situation, since Northcott’s first words (that gaps as exposed in the blog can be filled) shapes the information that he gives. In this regard I am fortunate that Northcott had kept a diary for the duration of the WCSSs and that the interview followed his entries alongside the concert programmes. This focussed the interview as an interaction designed to give me as complete a picture as possible of the events as they unfolded. I am also grateful for the generous time that Northcott devoted to the discussion, which meant that a whole range of subjects could be covered, in some cases for multiple times (each with new information and ideas). In any case, the shaping of new information due to past research is one of the primary ideas charted by the methodology of this blog.

Northcott’s diary is clearly an excellent resource, which enabled him to provide unprecedented detail of the WCSSs. It is a document of which I have no copy:

(LS100049, 16’09”)

Filed under: Interviews, Methodology,

RAM talk, or methodology v

I gave the following talk at the RAM’s seminar on Friday 6 November 2009. This is the text used. The line in the middle indicates the place where I spoke about my other methodology, which was drawn from my earlier posts here about methodology.

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1965 Concert Programme with comments

1965 Programme of Concerts submitted to the Arts Council. (ACGB/51/265; see 1)

The comments are those by Hugh Wood. As further composers are interviewed their comments will be added alongside those by Wood.

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Filed under: Commentary from Interviews, What music was performed?, , , , , , , ,

A concert, but when?

When I visited Hugh Wood, he showed me two typed pages, one of which had the programme for the Nocturnal concert, Friday 21 August 1964. There was also a concert that Wood insists took place, but which isn’t listed in any of the other literature I have for the events. This was the programme:

Music for a film scene [sic] Schoenberg

Canzona II David Ellis

Movement Neville Gambier

Castle Music Anthony Gilbert

Little Music for Strings Michael Tippett

Serenade Op.11 Brahms

This is a fascinating programme, and it includes works by Ellis and Gilbert no longer in their catalogue. Hopefully my meeting with Anthony Gilbert will clear up whether or not this took place, and if it did, its date, location and performers. I still have little idea who Neville Gambier was.

The following clip is Wood’s reaction to this concert, making clear his memory of its occurrence, and on the difficulty of clarifying the details of the programme.

(LS100044: 51’10”)

Further to this post, this list of works is part of the participants’ concert given on the final evening. For more details see this post.

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Other attendees?

According to Michael Hall, the following people were also there (in addition to my earlier post):


Roger Smalley, John Bulley (sp?), Bill Hopkins, Robin Holloway, David Ellis, David Bedford, Edward Cowie, Brian Ferneyhough?.


Bayan Northcott, Stephen Arnold, William Coates, Brian Ferneyhough.

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1964 Concert Programme with comments

1964 Programme of Concerts as given in the publicity leaflet, a copy of which was given to me by Michael Hall. The comments are those by Hugh Wood. As further composers are interviewed their comments will be added alongside those by Wood.

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