HV140- John Cage

John Cage composing at pianoHearing Voices from NPR®
140 John Cage: September 5 1912 – August 12 1992
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-08-29

“John Cage” (52:00 mp3):

A tribute to the composer on his 100th birthday:

“The City Wears A Slouch Hat” (1942 / 2:04 & 1:42 excerpts) John CageKenneth Patchen

From a half-hour radio play, commissioned by CBS, written by poet Kenneth Patchen and scored by Cage. Broadcast May 31, 1942 on WBBM radio station (Columbia Broadcasting System in Chicago), as part of their Columbia Workshop series. Performance by Xenia Cage, Cilia Amidon, Stuart Lloyd, Ruth Hartman, Claire Oppenheim and John Cage conducting.

“Who’s John Cage (Silence)?” (1992 / 2:25) Barrett Golding

A voxpop variety of folk answer the musical question: “Who’s John Cage?”

Sheet music cover to Jahn Cage's composition 4:33

“Imaginary Landscapes” (2008 / 5:07) Echoes

Few contemporary composers had the influence of John Cage. From experimental music to minimalism, Brian Eno to George Winston, echoes of John Cage continue to resound to this day, more than 6 decades after his “Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano” were first published. John Cage was a conceptualist of sound who turned even silence into music as he did with his famous piece, 4 minutes and 33 seconds. John cage died from a stroke in August of 1992. But we hear his thoughts in sound from a 1987 interview. From the series Echoes with John Diliberto, part of their Thoughts in Sound specials.

“In A Landscape” (1994 / 2:07 excerpt) Stephen Drury

Pianist Stephen Drury performs a 1948 Cage composition; the title track of the album In a Landscape

“Cunningham Stories (At the Age of Twelve…)” (1993 / 1:44) Laurie Anderson

From the collection A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (this UbuWeb link has free downloads of the entire CD set).

“Cage, Cunningham: Collaboration” (1983 / 5:27) Jay Allison

An impressionistic illustration of synchronistic artistic cooperation, in the words of Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Interviews by Katie Davis, from Jay Allison’s series Living in the Arts.

“Cunningham Stories (Merce Cunningham Phoned His Mother…)” (1993 / 1:48) Laurie Anderson

From A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute.

“Manifesto about new music…” (0:41) John Cage & David Tudor

Words/voice by Cage, music/sounds by Tudor, from their album Indeterminacy

“Introduction” w/ “Part II” (1963 / 7:46 excerpt) John Cage

From the album Variations IV, Volume II, performed by randomly tuning radios on stage, and live mixing in sounds inside and outside the performance space.

“Non-Musical Noises” (1998 / 0:08) Edwin Torres

From Holy Kid.

“More Noise Please” (1992 / 3:35) Steven Jesse Bernstein

From the late poet’s Prison collection, on Sub Pop Records; music by Steve Fisk.

“My grandmother was sometimes very deaf…” (1:04) John Cage & David Tudor

From Indeterminacy

“Suite for Toy Piano” (1994 / 3:04 excerpt) Stephen Drury

Another 1948 Cage composition; performed on piano by Drury on his album In a Landscape

“Écoute” (1992 / 7:12 excerpt) Miroslav Sebestik

An interview with John Cage from the from a >documentary film,directed by Miroslav Sebestik:

When I hear traffic, the sound of traffic — here on sixth avenue, for instance, I have the feeling that a sound is acting. I love the activity of sound. What it does, is it gets louder and quieter, and it gets higher and lower. And it gets longer and shorter. I’m completely satisfied with that.

The sound experience which I prefer to all others, is the experience of silence. And this silence, almost anywhere in the world today, is traffic. If you listen to Beethoven, it’’s always the same, but if you listen to traffic, it’s always different.

“Cunningham Stories (Every Morning…)” (1993 / 1:13) Laurie Anderson

Off A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute.

“A Cage Went In Search Of A Bird” (1993 / 3:17) Ken Nordine

One more from A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute.

“Experiences No. 1” (1976 / 1:06 excerpt) Voices and Instruments

From one of only ten albums released by Brian Eno’s Obscure Records label. The group Voices and Instruments includes Fred Frith, Robert Wyatt, and Carla Bley. Free download at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog.

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Comments (3)

Comment added by Dave Madden on 09.02.12

Flawless Victory

Comment added by Chris Fry on 09.03.12

[…] This recommended episode celebrates John Cage.  The unique way Hearing Voices weaves sound and voices together fits the topic perfectly.  (Here’s one about John Lennon if John Cage isn’t your thing). […]

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