the scratch orchestra Scratch Orchestra rehearsing in Cecil Sharp House
'Burdocks' Cecil Sharp House - March 1972
Formed in 1969, the SO ran until the mid 70s

Originally coming into existence for the performance of Paragraph ll of the Great Learning by Cornelius Cardew, the Scratch Orchestra consisted of a large number of enthusiasts pooling their resources and assembling for action, music making, performance and edification.

Some Musicians, Composers and others who were in the Scratch Orchestra
compiled by MUSICNOW
Richard Ascough Working in the trade union movement, still writing music
Laurence Ball Actively invovled in music making and organising concerts, mostly related to healing, meditation, etc particularly in the form of meditative piano improvisations. A series of 'Shape Tapes' has been produced in conjunction with other specialists.
Deryk Barker In addition to teaching full-time at Camosun College, Victoria, Canada I am also the (part-time) music critic of the Victoria Times-Colonist
Cornelius Cardew 1936-81. Composer and founder member
Stella Cardew Now working as a painter
Michael Chant Recent concert at BMIC and maintains an interest in music and composition
Phil Dadson founded an antipodean twig group . .called Scratch orch (NZ) . which later evolved into From Scratch
Brian Dennis (1941-98) Composer and lecturer at Royal Holloway College, University of London.
Rod Eley Living and working in Ireland
Peter Ellison Living in Devon recently been invovled in struggles for basic rights of travellers.
Brian Eno Producer and composer participated in some events towards the end
Judy Euren(Davies) Has a family of young children and lives with her husband on a hill farm in Mid Wales
Carole Finer Still teaching at art school in Camberwell. Two children. Doing lots of drawing, painting and printmaking when not obsessively playing bluegrass music on 5-string banjo Carols page of collages
Lou Gare Makes and repairs violin from his Devon home, a founding member of AMM
Dave Gregory currently living and making music in Plymouth
Bryn Harris stalwart scratch member to the last
Diana Heddy (Jackman) Married with 2 children. Homeopath and writer whose only musical activity now is playing rock and blues CDs
Chris Hobbs Composer currently living and working in Leicester.
Alec Hill Very busy enjoying musicmaking and involved with a clarinet choir.
David Jackman living and working in London, still active in music
Penny Jordan (Noy) Married with 3 young children, doing a little piano teaching. Helped set up and is involved in a parent-run Montessori school in Battersea, S. London
John Lewis 'I have been writing music intermittently since Scratch days. It was an invaluable springboard and later I did more in the popular music field.' There was a piano duo with Dave Smith. Recently spent 2 years teaching music in Iceland and have been piano teaching + class music teaching in a junior school since I got back.
Chris May I'm stll in the Civil Service, still playing lots of music, mostly recorders (for which I do arrangements of all sorts of music) but also renaissance music on viols. Married with three children aged 14, 12 and 10.
Michael Nyman Came to prominence with the Greenaway films and has become well known as a composer.
Peter O'Sullivan I will never forget the Scratch and the opportunity it gave me to enjoy and to learn. My children are continuing this spirit in my family through their love of music and social awareness; whilst I pursue a carer as a conultant.
Michael Parsons A composer and founder member, working as a performer, teacher and writer in the field of music and art.
Tom Phillips Artist, member Royal Academy
Ilona Phombeah Currently invovled in getting an arts magazine off the ground
Eddie Prevost Improvising musician, member of AMM - runs Matchless Records
Adrian Rifkin Founder of the Portsmouth Syphonia with Gavin Bryars. Professor of fine art, Leeds University
Francis Rifkin lecturing in theatre studies and working in stress management
Keith Rowe Improvising musician living and working in France. Member of AMM
Laurie Scott Baker working with Brigid to establish musicnow as well as writing material for a forthcoming CD 'Streets of Britain'
Victor Schonfield currently concentrating on jazz journalism
was administrator for the original Music Now
Hugh Shrapnel Composer living and working in South London
Howard Skempton Composer, founder member, still playing accordion. 'Lento' on CD
Dave Smith Worked in several composer/performer ensembles since Scratch. Many of his compositions since 83, have been orientated around a series of 'concerts' for solo piano each lasting approx. 1-2 hours.
Alan Sutcliffe involved in his young family and computers in developing countries
Stefan Szczelkun born in Hammersmith 48, grew up in London suburbs. A mod in the early 60s and a hippy by the end of them. Peripatetic thinker and autonomous artist in a wide variety of media. Mostly interested in issues of working class and immigrant identity. His last book 'The Conspiracy of Good Taste' 1993.
John Tilbury Continues as a concert pianist, an improvising musician (works with AMM) and lecturer
John White Composer, presently head of music at the Drama Centre in London.

Some of the music groups in and around the Scratch Orchestra
Promenade Theatre Orchestra (PTO)


Harmony Band


People's Liberation Music (PLM)


Wood & Metal Band


Private Company


Slippery Merchants








Red Flame


Hobbs White Duo


Smith & Lewis


There were also groups such as the Portsmouth Symphonia which were closely associated with Scratch.

MUSICNOW Information on CDs and cassettes

©1996-2001 with individuals and MUSICNOW
Page maintained by Brigid Scott Baker. Contact MUSICNOW Created: 26/06/96 Updated: 28/08/1999