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Program Information
All Things Cage
Weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world.
Weekly Program
Weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world.
 Wave Farm/WGXC 90.7-FM  Contact Contributor
"All Things Cage" is a weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world. If youd like to propose a guest or a topic for a future program, write directly to Laura at lkuhn@johncage.org.Laura Kuhn presents the first recording of John Cages Europera 5, preceded by her reading Recollections of the Premiere Performance by Yvar Mikhashoff. This recording of Europera 5 was produced by Brian Brandt and released on the Mode Records label as Mode 36 in 1995, with performers Yvar Mikhashoff, Martha Herr, Gary Burgess, Jan Williams, and Don Metz. Europera 5 is the last and most diminutive of Cages operas " preceded by Europeras 1 & 2 (1984-1987) and Europeras 3 & 4 (1991) " and was instigated by pianist Yvar Mikashoffs desire for a small, more practical and portable, and more easily performed work in the series, which had its premiere in Buffalo at the North American New Musical Festival on April 12, 1991.
Laura Kuhn talks about John Cage and Improvisation, a topic of much interest to Cage aficionados. She draws from Cages first and only performance of a little-known work entitled How to Get Started, conceived in 1989 for Sound Design: An Invitational Conference on the Uses of Sound for Radio Drama, Film, Video, Theater and Music, sponsored by Bay Area Radio Drama and held at Sprocket Systems, Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, California.

How to Get Started came together almost as an afterthought " a performance that would substitute for another that had been previously planned. It grew out of an altercation Cage had a week earlier with the composer Anthony Davis during Daviss presentation at Composer-to- Composer in Telluride, Colorado, wherein Cage essentially dismissed the usefulness of improvisation. This didnt go well, as one might imagine, and Cage was haunted by his remarks throughout the conference and into his travels to California for the Sound Design conference at which he was scheduled to speak.

Cage set to work on a new piece to present. In his introduction, he proposes a collaborative framework for his presentation in which sound engineers would capture and subsequently layer his extemporized monologue, which consisted of ten brief commentaries on topics of interest. This was an experiment in improvisation, to be sure, but it was also an experiment in thinking in public, before a live audience. Some 20 years later, in 2010, the John Cage Trust partnered with the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia to create a unique and permanent interactive installation of How to Get Started, which would enable the public to participate in its further life. The projects website, www.howtogetstarted.org, has become an evolving digital repository and archive for the recordings effected by invited artists and others.

This is Part I of a two-part program. Part II " airing next Sat., July 31, 7-8 pm " well listen to Cages extemporized presentation, which took place on Thursday, August 31, 1989. At the close of this weeks program, well listen to a beautiful performance by Jesse Stiles of Cages Improvisation IV, one of several works noted in Kuhns opening remarks, which was paired with Merce Cunninghams Fielding Sixes at its premiere at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London on June 30, 1980.
The late Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kenneth Silverman once described his "Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage" (Knopf, 2012) as the hardest book hed ever written. This was because, as he put it, pick up any rock and theres John Cage! Indeed, Cage was not only a world-renowned composer, numbering among his compositions the still notoriously tacet 433, but a ground-breaking poet, a philosopher, a chess master who studied with Marcel Duchamp, a macrobiotic chef, a devotee of Zen Buddhism, a prolific visual artist, and an avid and pioneering mycologist. He was also life partner to the celebrated American choreographer, Merce Cunningham, for nearly half a century, and thus well known in the world of modern dance. Episode 095. EVERGREEN

John Cage and Improvisation, Part I Download Program Podcast
Weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world.
00:58:01 1 Nov. 17, 2022
Produced for Wave Farm in the Hudson Valley in New York.
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