Musicians in church (Union Chapel, Islington). "Sound has history, too. Industry and modern technology have added machine sounds and electronic sounds to the primeval sounds of thunderstorms, volcanic eruption, avalanche, and tidal wave…"
Photograph of Cornelius Cardew. VO and interview with John Tilbury, talking about how Cardew’s music embraced and combined opposites. Photographs of Cardew: leaning into a grand piano, sitting on a rooftop, in an orchestra, attending "Conference against Racism and Fascism". Commentary says that his output was wide-ranging, and that he was always a controversial figure. John Tilbury on the humanism which he perceives to permeate all Cardew’s activities. Photographs of Cardew: writing, as member of improvisatory group AMM. Tilbury talking about Cardew’s graphic score, Treatise (1963-1967). VO continues over shots of the score, explaining that the performers interpret the notations in their own way. Tilbury with a copy of the score, showing the different kinds of symbols. Tilbury plays a page, explaining how he interprets it, and shows how he may play unconventionally (by sliding a drumstick along the strings and then plucking them), and prepares the piano in a variety of ways, for example, by inserting objects between the strings.