The Eye and Ear Concert - 17Jan 1969

Submitted by root on Thu, 08/08/2013 - 11:12

The programme cover for The Eye and Ear ConcertThe Eye  And Ear Concert was the second in a series of three concerts directed by Bill Harpe and promoted jointly by The Bluecoat Arts Forum and the Blackies under the '69 Musica Viva Series.

All three concerts took place in the Mountford Hall, Student's Union, Liverpool University.

Left is a photo of the programme cover

As the title of the programme would suggest this concert combined electronic music with visual effects, designed by Rod Murray.  All the following are taken from the actual programme.


Quiet Pavement Ensemble
Adrian Nutbeem, John Buckley,  
Josephine Ho, Jennifer Webber  (on stage)

James Cumming, Jonathon Goldberg, Bob Gomm, Barbara Harkin, Wendy Harpe, Veronica Hurst, Pat Jaggard, Simon Mallin, Leslie Roberts, Chris Wallace, Graeme Wilkinson

Tapes created by Donald Henshilwood


La Noire a Soixante + Granulometrie
by Pierre Henry

lights by  John Jetten, Colin Brown, Dave Malham, David Bassi, Peter Jacques, The Mirror of Galadriel

The Tomb of Malevic (Nahorbek Malevicuv)
by Rudolf Komorous

by Donald Henshilwood

Homage to Joyce (Omaggio a Joyce)
by Luciano Berio

Dancer, Dai Davies

Notes on the Artists


Born Paris, 1927. Studied under Messiaen and Boulanger; worked in experimental studio of Radiodiffusion TV Francaise. His 'Symphonie pour un homme seul' and 'Voil d'Orphee' are now classics of their genre. Created a number of works for Maurice Bejart's Ballet of the 20th Century. Composed Mass for the opening of Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. La Noire a Soixante was composed in 1961. Between 1962 and 1968 was added the voice of Francois Dufrene who collaborated in the creation of 'Granulometrie'


Born Uneglia, Italy, 1925. Studied in Milan with Peribeni and Ghedini.

Worked in studio of Italian Radio with Bruno Maderna. Compositions in both electronic and instrumental field. International reputation as composer and thinker, compositions include stunning works for the voice of Cathy Berberian. 'Homage to Joyce' takes as its starting point a fragment of 'Ulysses' recorded by a female voice in English, French and Italian. From this source through a continual evolution, the composer moves from the spoken word, to music.


Born Czechoslovakia, 1931. 'The Tomb of Malevic was composed in 1966 at the VURT studio for Prague Radio & Tele­vision Service.


Born Bradford, 1930, now lives on the Wirral. Has studied under Berio and Lutaslowski. His early compositions were instrumental but he now works mainly in the electronic field. 'Delta' was composed in 1968. Based on a nine note series, the piece moves from a vague opening, through rhythmic intens­ity to a quiet coda in which the nine note series is clarified.


Born 1946, now at Camberwell Art College. Awarded Cassandra Foundation in 1968 for studies in sound and vision.


Born 1947, also at Camberwell Art College



Born, under the sign of Pisces,

Josephine Ho born in 194-7 and Jennifer Webber born in 194-8. Educated at Ravensborn Independent College.

The Quiet Pavement have performed once before for the Bluecoat Arts Forum; at Cambridge University; the Royal Institute Galleries; and provided the Alluvial Hum Field Installation in the Summer '68 Pavilions In The Parks'.

They are working tonight with 'Object-Text-Light-Interval', making and picking up sound from the hall, and transforming it through light changes to a different sound.


Born Liverpool, 1937.Educated Liverpool College of Art. Member of the Council of the Liverpool Academy. Exhibitions include Liverpool Academy (past 9 years) John Moores 1968. Manchester Institute of Contemporary Art 1967. Storeys, Lancaster 1968. One Man Shows - Blue­coat Arts Forum 1967 and Bangor 1968. Lectures in art at F. L. Calder College. Has now abandoned the static form of art in favour of movement - the applicat­ion of sound and movement to art. Has carried out various commissions involving kinetics in an environmental setting.


Choreographer and theatre director whose work, the Choreographed Mass, was commissioned and performed for the opening of Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, for which he also acted as Artistic Director. He was recently commissioned by the Zambian Government to create work for that country's Independence Day celebrat­ions. Now Director of the Great Georges Project, in which a large, near derelict church is being built up into a commun­ity centre and contemporary arts centre.

The Credits

Environments  constructed by

Sue Baddeley, Tom Burke, Jenny Chadwick, Rigo Condron, Paul Cousins, James Cumming, Bob Gomm, Peter Hannon, Barbara Harkin, Wendy Harpe, John Holland, John Jetten, Brenda Lowe, Simon Mallin, David Mortimer-Jones, Geoffrey Pick, Colin Pugh, Steve Savoury, John Scobier, Tristram Spence, Nigel Wilcox

supervised by

Veronica Hurst, Pete Jacques, Pat Jaggard, Rod Jones, Sue Northwood, Leslie Roberts, June Sargent, Jimmy Tracey, Tony Walton, Graeme Wilkinson

Lighting installed and created by

John Jetten, Steve Ellis (for the University) Dave Malham, Colin Brown (for Bluecoat Arts Forum)

Sound Equipment       Alpha Sound

Sound Technician       Don McKie

Properties and Timekeeper for events Claire Harper

Personal Assistant to the Director Tom Burke

Designer Rod Murray

Concert conceived and directed by Bill Harpe

The concert of live electronic music (third in the '69 Musica Viva series) by Hugh Davies and Richard Orton, at the Mountford Hall on March 14, will also be directed by Bill Harpe

The next concert in the Musica Viva series is on February 28, and includes music by Cardew and Bedford played by The David Bedford Ensemble

The producers would like to acknowledge the help of the Guild of Undergraduates and the staff of the Students Union.

Usually we do not include reviews however here we include two because we think they say quite a lot about the situation of electronic music in the late 60s, The first is by Gerald Larner for the Guardian, the second by Judith Serota for the Manchester Independent.


ON MY WAY to the "Eye and Ear Concert " in Liverpool last night, I stopped for petrol on the East Lancs road. It was one of those places where they attach the nozzle of the pump to the petrol pipe in the car while taking the money. I got my four gallons, my change, my receipt, and drove away, dragging behind me the petrol pump, which the petrol girl had forgotten to detach, and which was half uprooted from the ground amid a pretty shower of broken glass. She evidently thought it was very funny.

It was one of those nights. In the Mountford Hall, at Liverpool University. I saw a girl in a polythene pillar washing her hair, another in another pillar making a sculpture, a couple playing chess in their pillar.

I saw, but frustratingly could not hear, the Quiet Pavement Ensemble stroking enormous triangles. I saw upside down pictures of Liverpool and the Beatles flickered over by signals from a light-sound modulator, responding to the music and other sounds heard in the hall I saw people in PVC and hairy coats wandering round, and not knowing which way to look.

After the interval, we sat down to the first British performance of a piece(or was it two pieces?)by Pierre Henry, one of the first and yet one of the least inspired composers of musique concrete. This was accompanied by colourful and imaginative liquid slides projected on walls and ceiling in the manner of Mark Boyle's Sensual Laboratory.

Rudolf Komorous made use of the celestial organ, one of the prominent electronic cliches in - "The Tomb of Malevic," also being heard for the first time in this country. There was the first performance anywhere of a nice, unpretentious musical tape. "Delta," by Don Henshilwood. Finally, we saw Dai Davies dance on a column of light not only during, but for some time after Berio's "Homage to Joyce," which gave dance the last word and put music in its place.

The adventurous and. at this stage, necessary evening was skilfully arranged by Bill Harpe - who - however, was not responsible for the Incident with the petrol pump ... I think.

The titles fro the Judith Serota review

I have actually witnessed a performance of a Concerto for Drain­pipes, but never have I seen anything quite like Bill Harpe's 'Eye and Ear Concert' in Liverpool last week. Sheets of black and transparent polythene hung from ceiling to floor in the Mountford Hall, coloured lights flashed, apparently in response to the frequencies of the sounds of football commentaries, Gardeners' Question Time, conventional music, unconventional music and the Quiet Pavement Ensemble which were broadcast often simultaneously over the Hall; a film of the Beatles was shown upside down with liquid slides superimposed.

A girl in a polythene pillar laboriously  unwrapped a table, a chair, a plastic bowl, a bucket of hot water, a bucket of cold water, an empty bucket, a bottle of Vosene, a hairbrush, a washing bag, a towel, a makeup bag and a mirror. Hav­ing put the piles of brown paper under the table, she then washed her hair, put on some makeup and unwrapped yet an­other parcel, this time a book of poems, but it was too dark for her to read. Someone else did a sculpture in a pillar.

Two other people played chess and the audience wandered round, firstly fasci­nated, later slightly bored by their sur­roundings. Apart from a few children who rushed round playing hide and seek.

The second half was more conven­tional, the audience being seated around a black pedestal in a sort of tent, onto which, for Pierre Henri's 'La Noire a Soixante - Granulometre', magnificent liquid slides were projected. For Komorous's 'The Tomb of Malevic" four candles burnt on the pedestal: like the other works it was electronic,

but I felt its use of a vast medium was limited to the extent that it could almost equally have well been performed on a modern electric organ.

In Dan Henshilwood's 'Delta', blue, and later red lights whirled round the roof of the tent; these absorbed me so much that I can't remember anything about the music at all.

For Berio's Homage to Joyce' (which will be performed in Manchester on March 13), a girl dressed in white danced on the pedestal, then illuminated, the colour again depending on the sound frequency. To give everyone a chance to come down to earth, the girl (Dai Davies) continued to dance for about 10 minutes after the piece had ended

Emotionally, the event was very stimu­lating: visually it was fascinating, musi­cally, well, the music seemed almost ir­relevant.   

                                                 Judith Serota