Author Topic: John Cage's Number Pieces  (Read 4747 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2020, 10:48:58 AM »
OK, after hearing Gran Torso, I take that all back. That was a fascinating work of art. This is clearly a very, very skilled composer. I will try and get that Arditti Quartet disc. But no rush.

Yes, all three quartets are well worth hearing in fact.

There's something that Cage and Lachenmann have in common I think -- and it's very relevant to the number pieces. In both there is no sense of loss despite the absence of melody and rhythm. In both we're invited to simply enjoy sounds and silences, and somehow, that's quite enough.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline T. D.

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2020, 01:09:56 PM »
108 [Largest number piece]. This is useful

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_Pieces

...

Aha. I should have known, considering the significance of the number 108 in Buddhism (incl. Zen, and various Indian traditions fwiw).

Offline Mandryka

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2020, 11:15:50 PM »
Well in a way it looks as though I was too hasty to say that 108 is the largest, since we have 109 and 110 on this CD, though I’m not sure about the validity of the nomenclature.




I’ve most enjoyed the 108 and One9 on this CD, because there’s a sense of mystery and it’s nicely recorded. Be warned, it starts with a long period of silence. In truth 108 isn’t one of my favourite number pieces.



And there’s an old one here - it must have been danced to I guess.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 11:29:59 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2021, 10:10:15 PM »


https://anothertimbre.bandcamp.com/album/no-islands

Interesting pastoral performance of Four6 here, for an unusual set of instruments. You can imagine yourself lying in a field near a road and an industrial plant, on a balmy summer’s day,  and these are the sounds you’d hear! I came across it while investigating Sarah Hughes, I think she’s an interesting musician. Her zither really brings this Four6 to life.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 10:18:45 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline hvbias

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2021, 02:39:25 PM »
I enjoyed this

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YOtQZIqfY1w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/YOtQZIqfY1w</a>

Offline T. D.

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2021, 04:28:58 PM »
I enjoyed this

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YOtQZIqfY1w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/YOtQZIqfY1w</a>

Excellent! Thanks. I think the trombone's sonority works really well in number pieces, and I like both of the performers (based on other recordings). You've also reminded me that this very release (Etcetera) has been on my want list for a long time...

Offline Iota

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2021, 09:36:07 AM »


https://anothertimbre.bandcamp.com/album/no-islands

Interesting pastoral performance of Four6 here, for an unusual set of instruments. You can imagine yourself lying in a field near a road and an industrial plant, on a balmy summer’s day,  and these are the sounds you’d hear! I came across it while investigating Sarah Hughes, I think she’s an interesting musician. Her zither really brings this Four6 to life.

It's striking to me how the lack of any sense of direction in that excerpt, creates a stillness that eventually almost pins you to the ground. Like an oppressive but not unwelcome heat.

Offline hvbias

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2021, 12:51:27 PM »
It's striking to me how the lack of any sense of direction in that excerpt, creates a stillness that eventually almost pins you to the ground. Like an oppressive but not unwelcome heat.

I found this is one of the things that drew me into late era Cage. Also while Cage would not agree with this I found myself more and more thinking about the amount of noise pollution we're subjected to, further drawing me into these type of pieces. This in part due to how much of the music of Frozen and Moana I've been forced to hear :laugh: I can't even imagine going back to living in a busy city, I'm so thankful to be in a quiet part of the country.

Like I found the Steffen Schleiermacher Complete John Cage Piano Music box, and thought a lot of Cage's early deliberate compositions weren't really all that interesting.

I'd like to hear more of the late Number Pieces composed for larger numbers of musicians but these seem to be hard to come across even on Youtube or their algorithm stinks.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 12:59:13 PM by hvbias »

Offline T. D.

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2021, 01:08:45 PM »
I found this is one of the things that drew me into late era Cage. Also while Cage would not agree with this I found myself more and more thinking about the amount of noise pollution we're subjected to, further drawing me into these type of pieces. This in part due to how much of the music of Frozen and Moana I've been forced to hear :laugh: I can't even imagine going back to living in a busy city, I'm so thankful to be in a quiet part of the country.

Like I found the Steffen Schleiermacher Complete John Cage Piano Music box, and thought a lot of Cage's early deliberate compositions weren't really all that interesting.

I'd like to hear more of the late Number Pieces composed for larger numbers of musicians but these seem to be hard to come across even on Youtube or their algorithm stinks.

This live performance (at the commissioning venue) of Fifty-Eight is what turned me into a Number Piece enthusiast. It's on an old (1993) hatology CD. Things that would normally be considered extraneous noise (coughs, child crying) seem to fit in perfectly in this case?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n39qp5BHL-U

The same site ("Wellesz Theater") also has Sixty-Eight : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxk87NL4oyc
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 01:57:51 PM by T. D. »

Offline hvbias

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Re: John Cage's Number Pieces
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2021, 06:14:30 PM »

This live performance (at the commissioning venue) of Fifty-Eight is what turned me into a Number Piece enthusiast. It's on an old (1993) hatology CD. Things that would normally be considered extraneous noise (coughs, child crying) seem to fit in perfectly in this case?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n39qp5BHL-U

Just finished hearing this, quite interesting, thanks!