John Cage

One of two¬†evenings of early works by John Cage mark a return of the music of Cage, once a guest in the Schindler House, to the grounds of the House and include a little known work,¬†Composition for Three Voices, dedicated to Schindler’s wife, Pauline. Selected by James Tenney, the works performed mark the coincidence of several Cage anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the seminal work 4′ 33″ performed in 1952, the 90th anniversary of Cage’s birth, and the 10th anniversary of his death.

Details

Tenney performing Sonatas and Interludes at CalArts in April.

Just as you go along the beach and pick up pretty shells that please you, I go into the piano and find sounds I like. – John Cage

The Sonatas and Interludes (1946-1948) for prepared piano were influenced by Cage’s reading of the works of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and “attempt the expression in music of the ‘permanent emotions’ of Indian traditions: the heroic, the erotic, the wondrous, the mirthful, sorrow, fear, anger, the odious and their common tendency toward tranquility.” The preparation of the piano involves the placement of bolts, screws and other objects and materials between the strings, emphasizing percussive qualities over pitch. In fact, the sound of prepared piano is similar to eastern percussive music, especially the traditions of Indonesian gamelan.

4′ 33″ was also performed.

Press Coverage

July 5, 2002

Los Angeles Weekly

Not With a Bang but a Whisper by Alan Rich
June 23, 2002

Los Angeles Times

A Piano Piece’s Nuts and Bolts by Mark Swed