Entries tagged with: John Cage

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By Ian Chainey

Aphex Twin's Richard D. James
Aphex Twin

Much like the Merge label, Warp Records is ringing in its 25th anniversary this year. The lauded electronic label will celebrate with the Warp25 on September 14, 19, and 20 at Krakow, Poland for three special engagements.

The first (9/14) will be Squarepusher assembled chamber arrangements featuring Sinfonietta Cracovia that will interpret the works of Squarepusher and modern classical composers Messiaen, Xenakis, and Ligeti. The second (9/19) showcases the London Sinfonietta reworking Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada compositions, along with John Cage and Steven Reich.

The finale (9/20) is the  the Warp25 blowout, sporting a bill of Autechre, Battles, Bibio, Darkstar, Hudson Mohawke, LFO (the first one), Patten, Plaid DJs, and Rustie. This will be Battles first live show in nearly three years, debuting brand new material and will be their only show of 2014. Autechre (the duo of Rob Brown and Sean Booth) will likewise be playing their first live show in nearly three years, debuting lots of new material, and it's their only gig this year.

Tickets for all three Warp25 events are on sale now (the ticket site's in Polish, be warned). There's also an official Warp25 Spotify Playlist and you can check out the full lineups below. See you in Poland!

The one name on Warp's roster that pretty much everyone would like to hear from again is Aphex Twin. While we wait for him to release something new (it could happen, just ask Kevin Shields), one of the lost treasures from his discography, the Caustic Window LP, is finally seeing a release thanks to a music forum, Kickstarter, and 4,116 contributors.

Caustic Window, one of Richard D. James's many recording aliases, cut a few EPs in the early '90s for Rephlex that were later collected on Compilation. According to Mike Paradinas -- the guy behind µ-Ziq and operator of Planet Mu records -- there were plans for a full Caustic Window album:

In the interview, Mike described the tracks in detail, and went on to explain that only 4 people at the time were known to have a vinyl test pressing of the album - Richard James, Chris Jeffs (aka Cylob), Grant Wilson-Claridge (co-founder of Rephlex Records) and Mike himself. Each person was sworn to never make copies of the music, and for 20 years, not a single track had ever been commercially released (with the exception of two tracks that appeared on compilations).
Then, out of nowhere, the record hit the Discogs marketplace. The We Are the Music Makers forum rounded up resources, got in touch with Rephlex for digital distribution rights, set up a Kickstarter, and $67,424 later there's new/old, old/new Richard D. James music out in the world. And the effort to make it available was worth it. Caustic Window, streaming below from a YouTube upload, falls in the middle of early Analogue Bubblebath installments and Hangable Auto Bulb. Of course, in typical James fashion, there's plenty that has little precedence at all. The physical copy is currently listed on eBay, with the winning bid split between James and a charity.

The full Warp25 lineup along with the Caustic Window stream appears below....

Continue reading "Battles & Autechre debuting new material at Warp25; Aphex Twin-related Caustic Window LP gets official release (stream)"

photos by David Andrako

Dan Deacon

When not inciting mass hysteria in children, Dan Deacon keeps it fancy, and that was the vibe last night at Merkin Concert Hall, his first of two fancy NYC shows this week. Tuesday's show was part of the Ecstatic Music Festival which continues with a show Saturday featuring John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats (which will stream live). Dan was joined by Mark Dancigers, Daniel Wohl, and new music groups NOW ensemble and Calder Quartet on a bill which featured a series of new works (setlist below). if you missed it, WQXR will have an archived stream, and here are some pictures.

The Ecstatic show before Dan's was with Oneida and Rhys Chatham, and that show is now able to be streamed.

This Monday (3/26), Dan plays another classical show, but this time at Carnegie Hall as part of a Celebration of composer John Cage.

More pictures from Dan's show below...

Continue reading "Dan Deacon played Merkin w/ NOW Ensemble & Calder Quartet (pics, setlist, streams), playing Carnegie Hall (Monday)"

by Andrew Frisicano

New Music Bake Sale

New Music Bake Sale returns for its fourth year on Sunday, March 11th at Roulette (509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn). The music runs from 4pm to midnight ($10 for admission and 1 raffle ticket), and you'll be able to buy snacks and other treats from the participating groups. The marathon-style lineup features a number of familiar new music names, and includes Newspeak, TILT Brass, janus, Gutbucket, Face the Music, Sideband and guitarist James Moore and violinist Andie Springer.

It being a bake sale, we asked the organizers if they'd like to share a recipe, and they suggested the below instructions for John Cage Cookies, a hearty confection that's referenced in several places as being one of the composer's favorites. They're also vegan & macrobiotic. Bring some to pass at the next John Cage centenary show.

That recipe, the full Bake Sale lineup and videos of participating groups are below...

Continue reading "a John Cage Cookies recipe (seriously), and info on this Sunday's New Music Bake Sale"

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...

Continue reading "John Cage turns 100; lots of shows & other ways to celebrate"

by Andrew Frisicano

ACME...outdoors in warmer times
ACME

Tonight (12/17) at the Tank, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) perform music from Phil Kline and John Cage (two earlier works, String Quartet in Four Parts and Credo In Us). Kline's annual Unsilent Night event just happened in NYC on December 12th (and is still to come in other cities). His piece Exquisite Corpses, on the program for ACME, also prominently features boomboxes. He's also put together a new acoustic arrangement of his string quartet The Blue Room and Other Stories (originally written for Ethel whose version is below), which ACME will be debuting. Tickets are on sale.

Kicking off tonight and running through this weekend, the Tank heads to Brooklyn to present the Blip Festival at the Bell House. If you can't be there, you can listen on WFMU.

Across town and also tonight (12/17), the New York Philharmonic will be launching its Contact! new music series at Symphony Space (95th and Broadway). Four composers - Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang, Marc-André Dalbavie & Arthur Kampela - will be debuting very different compositions with the group. Video and audio previews of those are below. Tickets are on sale. An encore performance (to borrow a phrase) takes place Saturday, December 19th at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The second Contact! program - with new music from Sean Shepherd, Nico Muhly and Matthias Pintscher - comes April 16th at Symphony Space and April 17th at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Videos and more info are below...

Continue reading "NY Philharmonic launches Contact! series tonight & ACME performs @ The Tank ++ other dates & videos"

by Andrew Frisicano

Philip Glass

Mode Records has etched its name in the annals of music history, producing the avant-garde and modern classical music of influential composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis, and Harry Partch. In its twenty-fifth year, they are hosting a six-hour benefit concert featuring very special performances by Philip Glass and John Zorn and a rare performance of John Cage's "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" with "Aria." This marathon of experimental music luminaries in the intimate Abrons Playhouse helps Mode Records to continue producing the best of New Music into the 21st century.
The Mode Records "Marathon" will happen this Saturday, November 21st at the Abrons Arts Center with a 6pm early show and a 7:30pm late show. Glass, whose opera Kepler makes its US debut at BAM this week (Nov 18, 20 & 21 at 7:30pm) (tickets are still on sale), will be at the early show only, performing solo piano work. That'll also feature a John Zorn-directed performance of his piece "Cobra." The later show will run four hours (the marathon part) and includes Respect Sextet playing music by Sun Ra and Stockhausen, John Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra with Aria (performed simultaneously) and The Jack Quartet with a performance of Iannis Xenakis' Tetra. Tickets are still available.

John ZornThanks to the recession (and the other more nuanced factors we can lump in with it), the Mode concert is neither the only benefit nor the only marathon happening this week. Another benefit marathon this week (also with John Zorn) is happening at the Clemente Soto Vélez (CSV) Cultural Center (dubbed "The Suffolk" for CMJ this year) on Friday, Nov. 20th and Saturday, Nov. 21st. The beneficiaries of the 28 hour marathon are non-profit Arts For Art and the annual Vision Festival, which is going into its 15th year. Night one acts include Sex Mob, John Zorn solo, pianist Connie Crothers and her quartet, Sam Hillmer's Regattas and $KELETON$ Big Band (who are also at the Stone in December). Night two includes Milford Graves & Marshall Allen Duo and a cast of rotating musicians and groups. A full schedule is here. Tickets are on sale.

Yet another (!) benefit marathon comes from WFMU, who is currently holding a 24-hour benefit that runs until Wednesday, November 18th (today) at 7pm. More details on the fundraiser and why it's needed are below. Donate here.

A poster, the full Mode Fest lineup and relevant videos and info are posted below...

Continue reading "Mode Records benefit w/ Philip Glass (whose opera is @ BAM tonight) & John Zorn (who plays the Vision Fest marathon)"