Author Topic: John Cage (1912-92)  (Read 74345 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14355
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #680 on: April 02, 2020, 01:16:10 PM »
his is part of the score for Variations II:





Not quite, at least not as far as I understand.  Variations II consists of a procedure for generating a geometry like that and an associated table which tells you how to turn the geometry into a score with five lines.  In exactly the same way as Music of Changes was made with I Ching operations and an associated table which allowed Cage to transform it into a score with five lines. That's why I say they are essentially the same.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 01:38:45 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8046
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #681 on: April 07, 2020, 04:21:03 AM »
“Suzuki taught that the ego, through its process of embracing things that pleased it and rejecting the rest, closed itself off from the experiences of the world in toto. Therefore, one had to eliminate a bondage to judgements in order to apprehend the totality of existence.”

“He then spoke of two qualities: unimpededness and interpenetration. Unimpededness is seeing that in all of space each thing and each human being is at the center and furthermore that each one being at the center is the most honored one of all. Interpenetration means that each one of the most honored ones of all is moving out in all directions penetrating and being penetrated by every other one no matter what the time or what the space. So that when one says that there is no cause and effect, what is meant is that there are an incalculable infinity of causes and effects, that in fact each and every thing in all of time and space is related to each and every other thing in all of time and space. This being so there is no need to cautiously proceed in dualistic terms of success and failure or the beautiful and the ugly or good and evil, but rather simply to walk on ‘not wondering’, to quote Meister Eckhart, ‘Am I right or doing something wrong.’”


— John Cage (Critical Lives) by Rob Haskins





« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 04:22:46 AM by San Antone »

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #682 on: April 07, 2020, 04:48:40 AM »
^Is every prospective performer of Music of Changes supposed to do all these coinflips themselves? Must take an eternity to prepare even before they can even perform it.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14355
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #683 on: April 07, 2020, 04:50:24 AM »
^Is every prospective performer of Music of Changes supposed to do all these coinflips themselves?

No. That's one difference between Music of Changes and Variations II.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8046
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #684 on: April 07, 2020, 05:01:05 AM »
^Is every prospective performer of Music of Changes supposed to do all these coinflips themselves? Must take an eternity to prepare even before they can even perform it.

It is my understanding either Cage or David Tudor prepared a score for performance that is used.

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #685 on: April 07, 2020, 06:34:50 AM »
OK, got it.

I listened to Fourteen earlier from the "Cage Piano Concertos" disc on Mode. I really enjoyed it. It was almost Feldmanesque with long bits of silence interspersed with quiet shimmering textures that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I'm curious to hear more of the "numbers pieces" now. Whenever I get my Trump check, I'll probably buy that Knoop/Thomas recording of Two2 on Another Timbre. I've been so curious about it for a while now.

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #686 on: April 07, 2020, 12:41:35 PM »
I just ordered a Cage CD, Variations II with Ensemble Spaziomusica. Thanks, Mandryka & San Antone 8)

What are some good entries in the Mode Cage Edition series? I have the Piano Concertos, and Europera 5. Damn good recordings, I suspect there are some others worth a listen...?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 03:39:48 PM by vers la flamme »

Offline T. D.

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #687 on: April 07, 2020, 03:12:17 PM »
I expect all the Mode series are good recordings, it's a question of whether you like the compositions.
One exception: despite having an aversion to recorders, I purchased

against my better judgment because it was cheap at BRO. I wouldn't rush to acquire that one  ;).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 03:15:51 PM by T. D. »

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #688 on: April 07, 2020, 03:36:13 PM »
I expect all the Mode series are good recordings, it's a question of whether you like the compositions.
One exception: despite having an aversion to recorders, I purchased

against my better judgment because it was cheap at BRO. I wouldn't rush to acquire that one  ;).

That's a fair point—with Cage more than other composers, I don't think there is a "canon" of recommendations. The pieces that one individual likes are not going to be the same ones that someone else likes. For instance, I like recorders!  :D

It's kind of amazing what a variety of John Cage recordings are out there, including budget releases on labels like Naxos and Brilliant, compared to other composers of his time and place. I'm grateful for it, but it means I often don't know where to start.

Offline T. D.

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #689 on: April 07, 2020, 08:27:30 PM »
I've purchased several Brilliants lately (price-driven, mostly Simonacci recordings from BRO). The liner notes / booklets to these are pretty crappy. Performances seem good, though the earlier works impress me more than later ones. That may be down to sound quality: I don't find the Brilliant number pieces (or late works with lots of silence) as meticulously recorded as those on Mode, Another Timbre, or various Euro labels (hatArt, MDG, Wergo, cpo). Can't comment on Naxos as I haven't heard any. I'd rather like to hear the Hungaroton recordings with Amadinda Percussion Ensemble that include Zoltán Kocsis(!), but they seem to be earlier works which I consider less "important" and already have on disc. Will look on youtube...
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 08:49:14 PM by T. D. »

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14355
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #690 on: April 07, 2020, 11:48:13 PM »
I just ordered a Cage CD, Variations II with Ensemble Spaziomusica. Thanks, Mandryka & San Antone 8)


Would you do me a favour? When you get it would you look at the booklet and if it looks interesting let me have a scan? I regret now not buying the CD - I downloaded it from Qobuz.

Re Mode, you must. Let me start again. You MUST hear Four3 for 12 rain sticks, violin and two pianos with on Number Pieces Vol 1.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #691 on: April 08, 2020, 03:29:16 AM »
Would you do me a favour? When you get it would you look at the booklet and if it looks interesting let me have a scan? I regret now not buying the CD - I downloaded it from Qobuz.

Re Mode, you must. Let me start again. You MUST hear Four3 for 12 rain sticks, violin and two pianos with on Number Pieces Vol 1.

Sure! I ordered it off Amazon, who have restructured their delivery operations to prioritize certain items and customers, so only time will tell when it gets to me.

Anyway, that does sound like something I ought to hear. Thanks, I will check it out.

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1710
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #692 on: April 08, 2020, 05:57:33 AM »
https://www.johncage.org/autobiographical_statement.html

Brief, fascinating reading material for a new Cage fan such as myself.

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8046
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #693 on: April 09, 2020, 11:25:28 PM »
“It was not Cage’s first foray into this arena. He had already worked with Mathews (and with the funding of Bell Labs) to produce a 50-channel mixer that Cage used in a disastrous performance of Atlas Eclipticalis by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Bernstein on 6–9 February 1964.

Cage had equipped the musicians with inexpensive contact microphones, which would route the sounds into a mixer whose output was controlled by Cage and Tenney; thus, the musicians knew that there was no guarantee their work would even be heard. In their frustration with this seemingly arbitrary caprice, the musicians revolted. They removed the microphones and stamped on them, which made it necessary for Cage to purchase replacements; they played whatever they felt like playing (just as the musicians premiering the 1958 Concert for Piano and Orchestra).

Years later, he remembered the humiliating experience: The New York Philharmonic is a bad orchestra. They’re like a group of gangsters. They have no shame: When I came off the stage after one of those performances, one of them who had played badly shook my hand, smiled, and said, ‘Come back in ten years, we’ll treat you better.’ They turn things away from music, and from any professional attitude toward music, to some kind of social situation that is not very beautiful.

— John Cage (Critical Lives) by Rob Haskins

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14355
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #694 on: April 15, 2020, 06:26:24 AM »


Steffano Scodanibbio plays a double bass. On this CD he plays five Freeman Etudes. This music was made by chance processes and written out for violin in a detailed, highly constraining score. Presumably Scodanibbo has made some alterations to make them fit well onto the double bass - he seems to use all the range, from very low to very high.

Astonishing beautiful when you’re in the right frame of mind! How can that be? How can random notes be so involving? I think part of the answer is just that the sound of the double bass is so nice: rich and complex, both in terms of sound and in terms of texture.

I never got on with these pieces played on violin by the way - either on Arditti’s recording or on the other one (whose name I forget.)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 07:59:25 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline T. D.

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #695 on: April 15, 2020, 06:59:13 AM »


Steffano Scodanibbo plays a double bass. On this CD he plays five Freeman Etudes. This music was made by chance processes and written out for violin in a detailed, highly constraining score. Presumably Scodanibbo has made some alterations to make them fit well onto the double bass - he seems to use all the range, from very low to very high.

Astonishing beautiful when you’re in the right frame of mind! How can that be? How can random notes be so involving? I think part of the answer is just that the sound of the double bass is so nice: rich and complex, both in terms of sound and in terms of texture.

I never got on with these pieces played on violin by the way - either on Arditti’s recording or on the other one (whose name I forget.)

Thanks for this. I once had the old Negyesy violin CDs on Newport Classics but didn't care for them and since had no desire to hear other (violin) versions. For some reason I thought there were more violin recordings [added: there's at least a Marco Fusi release on Stradivarius, in addition to those already mentioned].

Rob Haskins has (in his bio of Cage iirc) praised Scodanibbio's recording of Ryoanji.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 07:04:59 AM by T. D. »

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8046
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #696 on: April 15, 2020, 08:22:15 AM »
Rob Haskins has (in his bio of Cage iirc) praised Scodanibbio's recording of Ryoanji.

It is nice, it is included on this recording.



John Cage - A Firenze

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8046
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #697 on: April 15, 2020, 08:31:58 AM »
It is nice, it is included on this recording.



John Cage - A Firenze

Ryoanji allows for very different durational choices by the performers.  On the recording posted above, the piece lasts 17'39"; most performances are usually under 30 minutes, but can vary as much as 10 minutes.  At least one recording lasts an hour:



Here is a description:

Quote
The performers on this 1995 session, recently re-released, are Robert Black (contrabass), Eberhard Blum (flute), Iven Hausmann (trombone), Gudrun Reschke (oboe), John-Patrick Thomas (voice) and Jan Williams (percussion). For about an hour, the percussion (simultaneously struck muted gong and some fairly deep drum, it sounds like) tolls irregularly but consistently while the long tones, generally of a wistful if not mournful aspect, float above. The voice doesn't enter until about 22 minutes in but when it does, it casts a shadow to which the winds respond; matters become more agitated, as though a ghostly spirit had disturbed the premises. Soon, the vocal is multi-tracked, spirits swarm, but the garden's calm prevails and things settle back into timelessness. There are some especially lovely moments when the trombone plows into its depths, its bass purrs sounding very, very content.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 08:35:21 AM by San Antone »

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14355
Re: John Cage (1912-92)
« Reply #698 on: April 15, 2020, 08:34:26 AM »
Scodanibbio recorded it twice, the first one on that Sonora Cd came in for big praise from Cage, the one on Wergo is much later. I've got both, I'll listen to them some time soon and if I notice anything interesting, I'll note it.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen