Wednesday, 15 June 2016

John Cage / David Tudor - Indeterminacy (1959)

John Milton Cage Jr, 1912-1992 - composer, music theorist, Zen Buddhist, all of these and more; here he is captured on tape in the late 50s holding forth on every facet of his life and interests.  Encouraged by long-time collaborator David Tudor to start delivering some lectures that were simply storytelling, Cage started compiling minute-long anecdotes on cue cards, and eventually decided to record some of them.

Even if this double-album of 90 stories was just purely a spoken-word recording, I'd still love it - Cage holding forth on everything from music to philosophy to charming autobiographical snapshots is a joy to experience on repeat listens.  The icing on the cake, however, is that Tudor accompanied him in the studio (well, in separate studios where they couldn't hear each other) playing and cutting in elements of Cage's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and Fontana Mix.  Voice and musical/noise backing collide against each other, sometimes abraisively, sometimes dovetailing brilliantly in moments of wonderful serendipity.

Isamu Noguchi said, “An old shoe would look beautiful in this room.”

No comments:

Post a Comment