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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
Aug. 17, 2023, 4:27 a.m.
"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.
This week on All Things Cage Kuhn opts to do one more program on the subject of Cages number pieces, this time focusing on his Four6 (1992). The recording we will hear is a concert given at Summerstage in New Yorks Central Park on July 23, 1992, and this included what would be Cages last concert appearance, given his unexpected death on August 12, in the closing Four6. This was the premiere performance of the piece, and the cast was stellar: Cage himself, along with Joan La Barbara, vocalists, Leonard Stein, piano, and William Winant, percussion. The program also included Cages Music for Three (1984; rev. 1987), featuring Winant, La Barbara, and Stein, and Eight Whiskus (1984), a work composed for La Barbara and sung by her here (twice!), which comprises eight mesostics written on the first three words of a text written by the late Australian spoken word poet Chris Mann entitled Whistlin is did. The concert was later released as John Cage at Summerstage on the Music & Arts label, as CD-875, in 1995.

Four6 is a somewhat unusual work in the number pieces, in that instruments are unspecified, as are the specific sounds that are made. As Cage instructs in his performance notes:

Choose twelve different sounds with fixed characteristics (amplitude, overtone structure, etc.). Play within the flexible time brackets given. When the time brackets are connected by a diagonal line they are relatively close together. When performed as a solo, only the first players part is used and the piece is called ONE7 (that is, the seventh work in the series of number pieces that is scored for a solo player).
"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. Shed love to hear from you.

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.

No wonder, then, that nearly everyone who encounters the man or his lifes work has something interesting to say about John Cage!

Playlist:
Another One Bites the Dust (Remastered) / Queen
Music for Three / Joan La Barbara
8 Whiskus / Joan La Barbara
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 132. EVERGREEN

"John Cage at Summerstage" (1992) 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.
00:58:47 1 Aug. 17, 2023
Produced for Wave Farm in the Hudson Valley in New York.
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