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In Performance: CAGE100 @ The Stone (New York City, NY)

The John Cage Centennial gives us 12 days of Cage on the composer’s 100th anniversary of birth. While classical ensembles and universities re-performing Cage’s pieces produce homages and work to embody that certain John Cage feeling, those looking for some of the most exciting and irreverent new music performances of and dealing with Cage’s oeuvre will find themselves at The Stone.

During this series, contemporary performance and interdisciplinary artists demonstrate how the current movements into “new opera” and “performance music” also have roots in aspects of John Cage’s work involving objects, aleatoricism, electronics, noise, composer-performer relationships, voice, text, and intimacy of the performance situation.

9/4 begins CAGE100 @ The Stone, a three day festival focusing on three aspects of the composer’s work. Curated by Miguel Frasconi. Click here for the calendar.

The Stone
11th Street and Avenue B
New York, NY 10009 

9/4 Tuesday Cage100 Festival, day 1: The Singular Cage

8:00 The Noisy Toy Piano Orchestra
Miguel Frasconi (director, toy piano), Phyllis Chen, Stephen Gosling, Patrick Grant, Brian McCrokle, John Morton, Shoko Nagai, Paul Pinto, Kathleen Supové (toy pianos). Many toy pianos, mostly from Frasconi’s own collection, play John Cage’s Cheap Imitation (1969) in unison.

10pm Samuel Clay Birmaher
Samuel Clay Birmaher (performer). Three performances of John Cage’s Variations III and 0’00“, both composed in 1962, for flashlights, architectural objects, breath and heartbeat, and amplification. Performance materials will be displayed.

9/5 Wednesday Cage100 Festival, day 2: The Noisy Cage

8:00 & 10:00 The John Cage Variety Show Big Band
directed by Miguel Frasconi (glass, electronics). Daniel Goode (clarinet), Kathleen Supové (piano), Chris McIntyre (trombone), Cristian Amigo (guitar), Richard Carrick (guitar), David Watson (bagpipes), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), John King (viola), Erin Rogers (sax), Guy Barash (computer), Shannon Fields (voice), Raz Mesinai (beats), Paul Pinto (voice), Damon Holzborn (ipad), and special guest TILT Brass. Celebrating the composer on the day of his birth, 100 years ago. Pieces will include Sonata for Clarinet (1932), In a Landscape (1948), Fontana Mix (1958), Aria (1958), Music for Amplified Toy Pianos (1960), Variations II (1961), Atlas Eclipticalis (1962), Solos from Song Books (1970), Child of Tree (1975), Composed Improvisations (1990),and an ensemble performance of 4’33 (1952).

9/6 Thursday Cage100 Festival, day 3: The Intimate Cage

 Ecstasy Mule vs. John Cage vs. Ecstasy Mule
Kurt Gottschalk & Len Siegfried (guitars and stringed instruments, radios, piano with objects)
Ecstasy Mule vs. John Cage vs. Ecstasy Mule is a game of luck in which there will be a winner. It is an aleatoric piece as opposed to an indeterminate one, using elements of the Cage compositions Indeterminacy, Music Walk, Water Walk, 4’33“, Variation #1, Imaginary Landscape #5 and Radio Music, as well as some other chance determined sound sourcings.

10:00 Varispeed performs Empty Words
Gelsey Bell, Brian McCorkle, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder, Aliza Simons (vocals and electronics)
Varispeed performs selections of their recent arrangement of Cage’s Empty Words, a mid-70s epic that explores the “demilitarization” of syntax and the voice’s power to evacuate meaning and create music.

“thoe” sticker the environmentally-scored hours of Varispeed’s site-specific performance of John Cage’s Empty Words (2012, the Brooklyn Bridge)

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Esther Neff is from Indiana, USA. She organizes/cognizes, writes, performs, and makes.

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