John Cage

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John Cage

Postby violinist4ever » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:27 pm

Hey, Everyone! I'm doing a research paper on John Cage and I was wondering if anyone on here ever studied with him or met him or took a master class with him, or anything like that. Or maybe you know someone who did? :)
:)
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Postby bignaf » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:12 pm

I didn't. and I'm pretty sure none of the other regulars did.
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John Cage

Postby shostakovich » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:42 pm

Considering his reputation as an individual and a maverick, I'd question the very idea of a master class. I attended a rambling, chaotic "lecture" by Cage a few years before he died. It was a sad experience. His mind may have gone by then, but maybe nobody could tell. Just report on the legend and his innovations. Good luck.
Shos
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Postby violinist4ever » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:06 pm

Shostakovich, can you tell me a little more about the lecture you attened? I would love to somehow include that with the paper I am writing. Thanks! :)
:)
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Postby shostakovich » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:58 pm

Hi V4E. It was a lecture at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He had beein in their music dept for years. He may still have been at the time. The "lecture" consisted of reading rambling notes on several subjects like the environment, civil rights, brotherhood. I don't recall anything about music, but there may have been while I was nodding. Cage was described by some colleagues as a very generous ("give you the shirt off his back" was used) and helpful person.

He was a pioneer in "prepared piano" and chance music. The I Ching is mentioned in connection with chance. His most notorious work is the "silent sonata". It's a 3-movement work of silence for 4 min 23 sec. It was once "performed" by David Tudor, who approached the piano and closed the keyboard, thus beginning the first movement. When he opened the keyboard the movement was concluded. The other 2 movements began and ended the same way. This description was once reported in Time Magazine, which is where I read it. The "music" is supposed to be the ambient sounds (traffic, coughing, foot-shuffling, etc). It could be considered an example of chance music, although there are usually musical sounds involved in chance.

Robert J Lurtsema had a program emanating from WGBH in Boston for many years. It was called Morning Pro Musica. One time he interviewed Cage. Lurtsema said something that prompted Cage to say "I'm not a composer at all". Lurtsema seemed not to know how to take that. I thought it was an accurate claim. Stravinsky had once claimed not to be a composer, but rather an inventor of music. Cage claimed no connection with music at all. Considering that the word "music" has a relatively constant meaning to most people, Cage was really apart from that meaning. I once heard a nornal sounding ballet by Cage (I think it was called The Seasons, about a half hour long), so he was a traditional composer at one time in his life.

Well, that's about all I can say about Cage, other than I can leave him or leave him, "musically".
Shos
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Postby bignaf » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:49 pm

4 minutes 33 seconds.
that lecture sounds like something cage would do as part of his philosophy.
his early years were with a touring avant-garde ballet company. he wrote lots of prepared piano stuff for them. since he wanted many different percussion sounds, and figured he could achieve them all through the piano.
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Postby Trumpetmaster » Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:29 am

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
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Postby violinist4ever » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:41 pm

Thanks for the info. on the lecture you went to, Shostakovich!! I will definitely include it in the paper that I am writing. I also have to in some way relate it to Merce Cunningham and the eastern philosphy. I know he was cunningham's musician, so hopefully, that will be wasy to find. Also, thanks for the links, trumpetmaster! I really appreciate the help from you guys. Too bad we don't live near each other.....I'd take you guys out to lunch... :)
:)
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Postby piqaboo » Fri May 05, 2006 11:14 am

German performance of Cage piece to take > 600 years.

This was in the San Diego Union-Tribune this am.
SlowMusic

HALBERSTADT, Germany – If you miss today's organ performance of John Cage's work at St. Burchardi Church in this eastern German town, no worries. There is always next year. And the next. And the one after that.

In fact, you have about six more centuries to hear the work, a version of a composition by Cage called “As Slow as Possible.” A group of musicians and town boosters has given the title a ridiculously extreme interpretation, by stretching the performance to 639 years.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Postby shostakovich » Fri May 05, 2006 8:53 pm

Should we wait for the recording?

Satie "wrote" a piece called Vexations. It consisted of a 1 minute tune "to be repeated 1000 times", making it longer than Wagner's Ring cycle, except for intermissions and overnights. It was actually performed by a team of 4 pianists. The NY Times sent a team of 4 critics to cover it. There were about 4 people left in the hall when it was over. I'm sure the performance was "definitive".
Shos
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