No. 3 - Little Red Record

In the third episode of Ghost Echoes, the secret rules direct us towards a reluctant radical in Robert Wyatt. The eclectic English musician is in good company, though, and you'll find out why as we twist and turn through a number of historical similarities and coincidences. Along the way, we'll also learn that a revolution is not a dinner party. 


Music and Sound Notes: 


- The music in the first section about Robert Wyatt includes “Marchides” by Matching Mole, and “Alifib” by Robert Wyatt. 


- The following section about Cornelius Cardew includes the first movement from Haydn's String Quartet Op. 54, No. 1 performed by Marlburo Music. 


- “Brandy As In Benj” by Matching Mole starts the next section about Wyatt. Three more songs from Little Red Record close out the section: “Righteous Rhumba,” “Gloria Gloom,” and “Starting in the Middle of the Day We Can Drink Our Politics Away.” 


- The next Cardew section contains "Paragraph 7" of The Great Learning performed by the Scratch Orchestra, a repeat engagement by AMMMusic, and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte. The recordings of Cardew’s propaganda songs appear on the CD Consciously: “Song for the British Working Class,” “Founding of the Party” and “The Workers of Ontario.” 


- The following sections contain “Foxy Lady” from a Jimi Hendrix bootleg from a 1967 show in Stockholm. And a recording of Cardew’s Thälmann Variations by Frederic Rzewski. (This recording is all the more poignant considering that Rzewski was a friend of Cardew’s, and a colleague in radical politics, though he did not escape censure by Cardew in Stockhausen Serves Imperialism). 


- Finally, the ending is set to two Robert Wyatt songs: “Sea Song” and “Shipbuilding.” 


Further reading, listening: 


- My two main sources for biographical information were Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished by John Tilbury and Different Every Time: The Authorized Biography of Robert Wyatt by Marcus O’Dair. This piece by Edward Fox was useful for some details surrounding Cardew’s death. 


-Clips of Wyatt speaking come from the BBC’s The Voices Of… and the short clip of John Tilbury comes from this video.