Michael Morley, Sarah Stephenson & Nina Canal

(photo by R.E. Greentree)

In the second week of august Michael Morley (the Dead C), Sarah Stephenson & Nina Canal (ex-UT) used the WORM studio to work on several things, one being a conceptual Cornelius Cardew Piece ‘The Tiger’s Mind’ and they also got to record a lot of other new material.
‘The Tiger’s Mind’ was originally played with a fourth member, Nadia Lichtig, in Paris for a Cornelius Cardew festival

It’s an interesting piece, so i asked them for some more information about it.


The Tiger’s Mind, written in 1967, the year Cardew  completed his monumental graphic score Treatise,  is the first score he wrote exclusively in verbal  notation. The score is divided into two individual  narrative parts or pieces, “Day Piece” and  “Night Piece,” and is intended as a mainspring for an
expressly improvised performance. Initially intended  as a sextet, in which each musician chooses one of  six narrative characters (Amy, the circle, the mind,  the tiger, the tree, and the wind) as a musical  guideline, the number of performers, along with the  allocation of roles and procedural methods, are
suggested but not obligatory. As Cardew stated,  the score requires a willingness to play “in the  widest sense of the word including the most childish.



The tiger fights the mind that loves the circle that traps the tiger. The circle is perfect and outside time. The wind blows dust in the tiger’s eyes. Amy reflects, relaxes with her mind, which puts out buds (emulates the tree). Amy jumps through the circle and comforts the tiger. The tiger sleeps in the tree. High wind. Amy climbs the tree, which groans in the wind and succumbs. The tiger burns.


The tiger burns and sniffs the wind for news. He storms the circle, if inside to get out , if outside to get in. Amy sleeps while the tiger hunts. She dreams of the wind, which then comes and wakes her. The tree trips Amy in the dark and in her fall she recognizes her mind. The mind, rocked by the wind tittering in the leaves of the tree, and strangled by the circle, goes on the nod. The circle is trying to teach it’s secrets to the tree. The tree laughs at the mind and at the tiger fighting it..