John Cage meets Ant & Dec in the sitcom in my mind | Stewart Lee At the moment, I am trying to avoid thinking about John Cage. And instead, I find myself thinking about Ant & Dec. In 2009, the musicians Steve Beresford and Tania Chen asked me to supply the spoken part for a performance of Indeterminacy, by the postwar avant-garde giant John Cage. My shelves creak with music, but I didn't know any Cage, beyond Sonic Youth's interpretation of his piece Six on their Goodbye 20th Century album. Highbrow musicologists would scoff at this lowbrow lead in to Cage's oeuvre. Cage's Indeterminacy is currently available as a cardboard box of 90 cards of 90 stories of different lengths, and a leaflet of instructions: "Read the stories aloud, with or without accompaniment, paced so that each takes one minute. Indeterminacy's instructions advise reading "conversationally, naturally, and neutrally. None of this was remotely helpful. Indeterminacy is at London's Battersea Arts Centre on 23 September, Kings Place on 24 September and Café Oto on 25 September.
Dmitri Shostakovich Dmitri Shostakovich in 1942 Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (Russian: Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович , tr. Dmitrij Dmitrievič Šostakovič, pronounced [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ˈdmʲitrʲɪɪvʲɪt͡ɕ ʂəstɐˈkovʲɪt͡ɕ]; 25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and pianist and a prominent figure of 20th-century music. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. Biography Early life Birthplace of Shostakovich (now School No. 267). Born at 2 Podolskaya Ulitsa in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Shostakovich was the second of three children of Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich and Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina. Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a child prodigy as a pianist and composer, his talent becoming apparent after he began piano lessons with his mother at the age of nine. Shostakovich in 1925 Early career First denunciation Lev A.
Duck Sex, Aesthetic Evolution, and the Origin of Beauty For example, if we think about a plant and the parts of the plant, trying to explain why they are the way they are, if we examine the roots we could come up with a complete description of the roots and their function and their form in terms of their physical function in the soil. They're grabbing into the substrate, they're absorbing water and minerals, they're helping the plant anchor itself. They might even be interacting with fungus and bacteria in the soil. We come up with a complete description of the plants and we have a theory for this, and that theory is natural selection. However, if we think about the flower, many parts of the flower, including its color, the shape of its petals, its fragrance, function through the perceptions of other animals. That is, the bee or the hummingbird comes along and regards the flower, asks itself, "Do I want to forage at that flower now or today?" We will never be able to nail it down exactly as we do many scientific questions.
John Cage :: An Autobiographical Statement What follows is John Cage's "Autobiographical Statement"(1990), which, in time, will transform into a fully animated multimedia version. Hyperlinked words will take you to a wealth of materials across media -- some drawn from the archives of the John Cage Trust, some discovered within the folds of the World Wide Web, some newly created. While we work to create these links (both content and access), we ask that you consider submitting for consideration your own contributions, which may take the form of text, video, music, and/or images (files or links). Like our "Folksonomy," this aspect of the website means to infinitely expand. I once asked Aragon, the historian, how history was written. My father was an inventor. My mother had a sense of society. Neither of my parents went to college. Later when I returned to California, in the Pacific Palisades, I wrote songs with texts by Gertrude Stein and choruses from The Persians of Aeschylus. I don't know when it began.
The world’s slowest and longest piece of music: John Cage’s As S As Slow As Possible was composed by John Cage, arguably the most influential American composer of the 20th century. It was originally a 20-minute piece for piano, but later expanded by some crazy group of theologians, musicologists, philosophers, composers and organists to an unbelieveable 639 years. Yes, that means the song will take 639 years from start to finish. It was first played sometime in 2003, on a church organ in Halberstadt, Germany. The first 3 notes will last for more than a year! Needless to say, it won’t be of much interest if you’d actually sit down and listen to it. In fact, for the first 17 months, all that was heard was the sound of “the organ’s bellows being inflated”. Question: But why 639? SourceThe BBC, Feb 2003
Béla Bartók Béla Viktor János Bartók (/ˈbɑrtɒk/; Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbeːlɒ ˈbɒrtoːk]; March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. Biography Childhood and early years (1881–98) Béla Bartók was born in the small Banatian town of Nagyszentmiklós in the Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary (since 1920 Sânnicolau Mare, Romania) on March 25, 1881. Béla displayed notable musical talent very early in life: according to his mother, he could distinguish between different dance rhythms that she played on the piano before he learned to speak in complete sentences (Gillies 1990, 6). Early musical career (1899–1908) Middle years and career (1909–39) Opera
The Holy Mountain (1973 film) La montaña sagrada (The Holy Mountain, reissued as The Sacred Mountain) is a 1973 Mexican-American avant-garde drama film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who also participated as an actor, composer, set designer and costume designer on the film. The film was produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein of ABKCO Music and Records, after Jodorowsky scored an underground phenomenon with El Topo and the acclaim of both John Lennon and George Harrison (Lennon and Yoko Ono put up production money). It was shown at various international film festivals in 1973, including Cannes, and limited screenings in New York and San Francisco. After a confrontation with the alchemist, the thief defecates into a container. The excrement is transformed into gold by the alchemist, who proclaims: "You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold". The thief is introduced to seven people who will accompany him on his journey; they are said to be the most powerful but mortal, like himself.
A guide to John Cage's music John Cage. A wolf in sheep's clothing. Not my aphorism, but the epithet of Michael Finnissy, a composer who worked with Cage and who deeply admires him, but who suggests that the Cageian legacy is something that needs deconstruction as well as celebration. Behind that beatifically smiling visage, the charming prophet of (apparent) freedom, egolessness and openness, there could lurk a more conventionally controlling figure, a creative spirit just as fiercely rigorous and as conscious of his own significance as any of the other titans of the 20th century. What's worth remembering and genuinely celebrating in Cage's centenary year (yes, he – just! It's easy to be seduced by that line of thinking. But that's to forget about something really rather important: Cage's music. Guthrie caught the thrill of the new that Cage's prepared piano music still makes you feel, and the new musical terrain it opens up. But what about the lupine elements of the Cage legacy? Reading on mobile?
Arvo Pärt Arvo Pärt (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrvo ˈpært]; born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. As of 2013, Pärt has been the most performed contemporary composer in the world for three years in a row. Life Pärt was born in Paide, Järva County, Estonia, and was raised by his mother and stepfather in Rakvere in northern Estonia. In 1980, after a prolonged struggle with Soviet officials, he was allowed to emigrate with his wife and their two sons. Musical development Familiar works by Pärt are Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten for string orchestra and bell (1977) and the string quintet "Fratres I" (1977, revised 1983), which he transcribed for string orchestra and percussion, the solo violin "Fratres II" and the cello ensemble "Fratres III" (both 1980).
10 "Masked" Musicians and Why They Hide Several musicians have been known to take on an alternate persona as part of their art. David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust. Garth Brooks became Chris Gaines. Heck, Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan when he was trying to be Woody Guthrie. But other musicians have gone farther as to conceal their true identity by physically masking themselves whether it be with make-up or even an actual mask. Here’s a list of some of the biggest, the story of how they came to be and the reasons behind their facade. 1. 2. 3. Real Identity: Joel Thomas ZimmermanOrigin: Zimmerman’s moniker was inspired a dead mouse (surprise) that he found in his computer one day. 4. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. John Cage’s Silence and Noise On August 29, 1952, David Tudor walked onto the stage of the Maverick Concert Hall, near Woodstock, New York, sat down at the piano, and, for four and a half minutes, made no sound. He was performing “4'33",’’ a conceptual work by John Cage. It has been called the “silent piece,” but its purpose is to make people listen. “There’s no such thing as silence,” Cage said, recalling the première. This past July, the pianist Pedja Muzijevic included “4'33" ” in a recital at Maverick, which is in a patch of woods a couple of miles outside Woodstock. Cage’s mute manifesto has inspired reams of commentary. On a simpler level, Cage had an itch to try new things. Many people, of course, won’t hear of it. The simplest explanation for the resistance to avant-garde music is that human ears have a catlike vulnerability to unfamiliar sounds, and that when people feel trapped, as in a concert hall, they panic. Cage’s high-school yearbook said of him, “Noted for: being radical.” Did Cage love noise?
Luigi Nono Luigi Nono (1979) Zattere al ponte Longo—Dorsoduro, the house in Venice where Luigi Nono was born. Luigi Nono (Italian pronunciation: [luˈiːdʒi ˈnɔːno]; 29 January 1924 – 8 May 1990) was an Italian avant-garde composer of classical music and remains one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century. Biography Early years It was Scherchen who presented Nono's first acknowledged work, the Variazioni canoniche sulla serie dell'op. 41 di A. 1950s and the "Darmstadt School" Maria Krzyszkowska and Witold Gruca in a 1962 production of Nono’s ballet, Il mantello rosso (1954). A number of Nono's early works were first performed at Darmstadt, including Tre epitaffi per Federico García Lorca (1951–53), La Victoire de Guernica (1954)—modeled like Picasso's painting as an indictment of the war-time atrocity —and Incontri (1955). In certain pieces in the "Canto", Nono composed the text as if to withdraw it from the public eye where it has no place... 1960s and 1970s 1980s