Classical Muddly
with Chris Reeves
2015
Xerox zine, cassette and print installation

Featuring an essay by Chris Reeves, interviews with Sinfonia members Jeffrey Steele and David Saunders, illustrations by Lizzy DuQuette and a "Bad Music Seminar" audio monologue by Mark Harris

Classical Muddly considers the legacy of the "world's worst orchestra," the Portsmouth Sinfonia. The Sinfonia was a pedagogical experiment and open entry orchestra founded in 1970 by a group of students at the Portsmouth School of Art in England. The group had a unique entrance requirement in that its members (regardless of skill, experience and musicianship) had to play an instrument completely unfamiliar to them. The ensemble included Brian Eno and composer Gavin Bryars. Over the course of a decade they recorded two albums, had a hit single on British Top 40 and performed the Royal Albert Hall to a crowd of thousands.

Classical Muddly takes a look at the founding tenants of the group through a series of essays, an index of archival and infographic material, as well as interviews with two original members. It also includes a double sided tape cassette component with an audio essay by British artist Mark Harris and excerpts from the vinyl LP "The Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays The Popular Classics."

Featured in Temporary Services' "12 Contributors, 5 Publications, 5 Years"

 
 
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