everything put together sooner or later falls apart

Russell, Barry

About the work

everything put together sooner or later falls apart, commissioned by COMA for the 1998 Summer School, is scored for flexible chamber orchestra. The plot involves the creation of a series of musical objects (to be viewed from many sides) which are subsequently modified, dismantled and rebuilt or wantonly destroyed. Conventionally notated sections mingle recklessly with improvised passages and prose and graphic notations. Performers are asked to play percussion and use voices as well as play on their orchestral instrument. There is a strong theatrical element but this will not be revealed until the first performance. everything put together sooner or later falls apart is dedicated to the memory of Cornelius Cardew.

First Performance: CoMA Summer School Chamber Orchestra, Jul 1998, Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire

Technical notes

This piece is designed to be playable by almost any combination of instruments and voices. The minimum specified in the score is keyboard, solo instrument and voice but it is eminently playable by much larger groups. Any number of keyboards can be accommodated but are not essential providing there is a suitable range of instruments to cover the necessary pitch range. All instrumentalists also use their voices but mainly to speak texts rather than singing. The piece is playable by performers of a wide range of abilities since everyone reads from the same score and chooses what they play. The composer writes ” It is a piece to be learnt in a short space of time, orchestrated by the performers via discussion and negotiation. This community of endeavour should lead to a situation where shared ownership of the music is possible.”


COMA (with funds from the Arts Council of England)


score & parts

Sorry, Not Available


18m 00s




Flexible Ensemble with Keyboard


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