ICES - 72: International Carnival of Experimental Sound based on a Theme of Myth, Magic, Madness and Mysticism.
Ingatestone, Essex: Source, 1972. 4to. Wrps., newsprint paper, unpaginated (64pp.). Illustrated throughout with photographs and graphics. Some full-page ads.
A detailed catalogue and programme of events issued by Source editors Stan Lunetta and Art Woodbury to accompany the series of concerts and performances held at the Roundhouse in Camden Town between August 13-28, 1972.
The ambitious and wide-ranging event (a “Woodstock of the aesthetic vaguard”) was the brainchild of Harvey Matusow, who, along with his fourth wife, composer Anna Lockwood, formed part of the Naked Software ensemble. His idea was for an international event that would encompass every aspect of the audio-visual avant-garde, from electronics, environmental composition and video to tactile music and sound-text, with the intention to involve as many composers and musicians as he could gather (the final number exceeded 300). It opened with a presentation of John Cage’s multimedia piece “HPSCHD”, broadcast by BBC radio, featuring harpsichords played by David Tudor, Richard Bernas, Cornelius Cardew, Anna Lockwood, Frederick Page, John Tilbury and Roger Woodward, and a backdrop of 80 slide projectors and 16 film projectors casting images on to large balloons.
The many and varied events that followed included performances by Gentle Fire, Ascension, Audio Visual Studio/Ensemble, Red Buddha Theatre, Amsterdam Electric Circus, Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Intermodulation, AMM, Germ, Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy, Lol Coxhill, MEV, Geoff Hendricks, the Taj Mahal Travellers, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, and the Portsmouth Sinfonia, among others.
Attendances dwindled after the first night, the organisation teetered on the edge of chaos, and most of the participants suffered financial losses, but the idealism behind such a grand scheme was very much of its time, and it has since become something of a mythical event. Gee Vaucher (later of Crass) designed the poster, and this pre-event catalogue incorporates her image of ice cream cones in repeat on the front cover and as an occasionally recurring motif.
Very Good plus, at least.