The Society for Classical and Authentic Music


Scam publicity shot
(Video coming soon, one day, never, if I ever get round to editing it…)

3/11/06 for six oboes, six bassoons,
two ghettoblasters and conductor

Composer’s note

‘The Society for Classical and Ancient Music is the ritual court orchestra of the independent island principality of San Serif. The oboe and bassoon were brought to the island by Portuguese traders in the C17th; in the subsequent centuries a unique playing tradition has evolved, a syncretic blend of cargo-cult findings and the imitated voices of ancestral spirits. The RSAMD are proud to be able to present this rarely-heard music in a concert setting, and would ask that the audience respect the fact that, for the players, today’s performance will be a religious ceremony as well as a concert.’

(There is also a more complete version (.pdf, 44KB) of the composer’s note.)


This piece came about as a result of an invitation to write for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Reed On! event in Nov 06; they were looking for a piece for six oboes and six bassoons, to go alongside a (fairly odd it has to be said) programme of music for double reeds.

SCAM revisits territory first explored in my earlier street-band project The Society for High Art Music. It is almost entirely put together from bits of existing musical material drawn from my Openings series, assembled in rehearsal into a quasi-theatrical whole.

First performed 3/11/06 by Fraser MacAulay, Sarah Cruickshank, Lynsey Bolton, Arlene Cochrane and Siobhan Donnelly (oboes) and Vic Scott, Fraser Gordon, Eanna Monaghan, Anna Mary Lynch and Graeme Brown (bassoons), with the composer as conductor/ghettoblasters/kazoo. Second performance by the same personnel 2/3/07, with the kazoo part replaced by a schmael.

Duration ~10′