Posted in music | tour dates on February 11, 2012

by Andrew Frisicano

John Cage

Philip Glass isn't the only 20th-century composer with a big birthday this year. Avant-garde composer John Cage would've been 100, and there are numerous chances to see his work (even more than usual) because of it. The shows below cover quite a bit of ground--eg. 1940's "Living Room Music" on the same program as 1991's "Four3"--and the best place to experience the pieces is definitely in a group.

Avant Music Festival, happening February 10-18 at Wild Project (195 E 3rd St at Ave B), explores the work of Cage at several shows. There's an afternoon/evening program on Saturday, February 11th, which includes a 4pm performance by Bang on a Can's Vicky Chow of Cage's "Sonatas and Interludes" for prepared piano, followed by a longer evening set. Tickets are on sale.

New music quartet loadbang performs as part of that Avant Music show, and will also presents an Evening of John Cage on Thursday, March 8th at Greenwich House Music School.

Issue Project Room, which just moved into a new home, has some Cage-related shows coming up, such as Stephen Drury playing his "Etudes australes" on February 24 and "On Silence: Hommage to John Cage" which features 13 new pieces that are all 4 minutes, 33 seconds long.

So Percussion hosts "We Are All Going In Different Directions--A John Cage Celebration" at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on March 26th. They'll be performing Cage's music, as well as that of Matmos and Cenk Ergün (who should be appearing) and Dan Deacon's "Bottles." Tickets are on sale.

It's the last stop in a Cage-dedicated tour, which also visits Boston, Toronto and Austin (info below). On March 27th, recordings from the tour will be released by Cantaloupe Records as Cage 100: The Bootleg Series, a limited-edition package with a blank 4'33" LP, a CD of "tracks chosen by chance operations" and a full archive of the shows online.

That show is part of Carnegie Hall's American Mavericks series, which also includes performances by Alarm Will Sound, William Basinski, JACK Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, WHY? and Danielson.

Also part of that is John Cage Unbound--A Living Archive, an online project through New York Public Library, which is going to collect performances and talks of Cage's work by musicians and students (and user-submitted videos). It's also going to have an archive of scores, photographs and other artifacts. Two videos from that--one of pianist Margaret Leng Tan showing you how to prepare a piano, and one with So Percussion crumpling paper (they love to do that)--are below.

Check out more videos, including 4' 33" performed by an orchestra, Andrew W.K. and a wall, below...

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So Percussion & Co. - We Are All Going in Different Directions tour dates
February 9: Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts
March 2: The Royal Conservatory, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
March 6, 7: The McCullough Theatre, University of Texas, Austin
March 26: Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, NYC

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John Cage - 4'33"

Andrew W.K. and Calder Quartet perform John Cage's 4'33"

John Cage's 4'33"

Preparing the Piano for Bacchanale, with Margaret Leng Tan

Preparing the Piano for Bacchanale, with Margaret Leng Tan from John Cage Unbound on Vimeo.

But What About the Noise of Crumpled Paper, with So Percussion

But What About the Noise of Crumpled Paper, with So Percussion from John Cage Unbound on Vimeo.

John Cage - Water Walk

John Cage - Sonata II For Prepared Piano

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Comments (28)

John Cage = 100
Phillip Glass = 75

therefore ....

John Cage is Phillip Glass' daddy.

Who's your daddy?
Who's your daddy?

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 9:28 AM

The nigga from Mortal Combat? He DID NOT age well.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 9:45 AM

"Philip Glass isn't the only 20th-century composer with a big birthday this year", there's also a DEAD 20th-century composer who celebrate a big birthday...

4th grade writing.

Posted by ME | February 11, 2012 10:18 AM

J.S. Bach is celebrating his 427th birthday this year as well, so long as we're going to take nonsense.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 10:48 AM

^ talk, not take (sorry)

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 10:48 AM

"He thought he was the king of America, where they drank Coca-Cola just like vintage wine ..."

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:06 AM

Edgard Varêse turns 129 this year..

http://youtu.be/M1AT8rI_A8M

Posted by J | February 11, 2012 11:09 AM

He was an overrated "composer" fawned over by the Baby Boomers and Beats.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:12 AM

OMG 11:12, say that you don't care for his music, but "overrated"? You do realize that no Cage (and Ives) >>> no Glass, no Reich, arguably no Gorecki or Part or Tavener or Adams or ...

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:52 AM

Looking forward to the Philip Glass Candy collaboration.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:54 AM

Looking forward to the Phillip Glass / Kronos / Lou Reed collaboration ... Lulu part 2

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:57 AM

I bought a Phillip Glass CD once. I put it on, and went to do something, but had to come back because it was skipping. Or I should say, I THOUGHT that is was skipping ... turns out it wasn't, that was the way he wrote it. Fucking horrible music.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 11:59 AM

who?

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:01 PM

Deerhoof > Phillip Glass

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:03 PM

DID ANYONE ELSE GET AN AD FOR SUGAR GLIDERS ON THIS POST


SUGAR GLIDERS ARE THE BEST

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:14 PM

I would give 1 goat and 3 chicken for one such SUGAR GLIDER here in my homeland. Such things would be nice for hot date in Minsk

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:36 PM

FATALITY!

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:48 PM

I don't see what's wrong with these musicians celebrating the 75 and 100 year mark for two composers that influenced them. Maybe you're unfamiliar with the concept of a centennial? Here you go http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centennial

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 12:59 PM

i once was in line behind john cage at mamouns. he ordered a vegetarian platter with hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 1:09 PM

Cage deserves to be celebrated. Bv is full of boring music commentators with boring taste. Also, Glass has influenced most of what is relevant, including Deerhoof.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 2:04 PM

Cage's birthday was September 5th, so the title is (not too surprisingly on this kinda site) somewhat misleading.

Still 4'33" owns you and your mother.


Side note: Iannis Xenakis was critical of Cage in some cases. If you ask me, I think he was jealous of Cage.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 5:48 PM

I still don't understand how you can have a birthday if you're dead. Seems like that occasion should drop off the calendar.

Posted by Anonymous | February 11, 2012 6:43 PM

wtf mortal kombat?

Posted by ch131 | February 11, 2012 10:37 PM

6:43: I'll explain.

If they didn't have a birthday, it means that they were never born to begin with. It doesn't matter that they are no longer with us now, it doesn't take away from the fact that they were still born. Ergo, birthday is still there.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2012 5:45 PM

At 100 and still producing vital music. Today's "young" artists should learn from him.

Posted by Anonymous | February 12, 2012 6:02 PM

Somebody told me this story about cage one time. He was performing a piano recital and he wanted to have his piano meticulously microphoned so that even the most minute sounds would be heard. He walked on stage with a basket of mushrooms that he had picked on his travels to the venue (he was an avid micologist). He proceded to take his mushrooms and smush them into the piano strings resulting in the microphones picking up the smush sounds. Wish I was there.

Posted by Anonymous | February 14, 2012 1:25 PM

Congratulations for posting such a useful weblog. Your blog isn’t only informative but also very artistic too. There normally are very couple of individuals who can write not so simple articles that creatively. Keep up the great work !!

Posted by jocuri | August 31, 2012 8:12 AM

wow 100 I want to know what he eats

Posted by jordon | August 6, 2013 3:05 PM

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