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John Cage photo by Steven Speliotis John Cage (photo :by: Steven Speliotis)
John Cage photo by Steven Speliotis

John Cage (photo :by: Steven Speliotis)

New Sounds and Q2 Music mark the John Cage Centennial by featuring a 13-week series of programs devoted to Cage’s works including live performances, his final radio interview, and some now-rare recordings, along with pieces by other composers about or dedicated to John Cage.  The series, “John Cage/Citycircus,” first ran in 1994 in conjunction with the run of a touring exhibit, really a four movement composition for museum, “Rolywholover A Circus,” by John Cage. 

Why 13 weeks?  John Schaefer recalls, “it is also quite possible that I chose to do 13 programs via chance operations – simply seeing what I had that I wanted to use and adding it up to see how many shows it would make.”  Cage just might have said, “How marvelous.”

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John Cage: @100 "City Circus" Show Schedule

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The series, "John Cage: City Circus," thirteen programs celebrating the composer's life and legacy, will air on both WNYC's SPECIAL Stream at 10PM and on Q2 Music at 8PM on Wednesdays.  Full schedule:

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Where the Heart Beats

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From the excellent site, Brain PickingsWhere the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists is the remarkable new intellectual, creative, and spiritual biography of Cage — one of the most influential composers in modern history, whose impact reaches beyond the ...

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John Cage: City Circus, Program XIII

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WNYC

To mark what would have been John Cage’s 100th birthday, New Sounds and Q2 Music have been presenting a 1994 series of rare in-studio recordings and interviews with the composer - "John Cage: City Circus," what we thought to be thirteen programs worth.  Except that when we went digging through the archives, we could only come up with twelve.  So here, after many years, and in this John Cage centennial year, is the missing 13th installment - a new show to complete the series.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program XII

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WNYC

Airs 11/21 at 10PM on the Special Stream
For this, the twelfth edition of the John Cage: City Circus programs, listen to the final concert performance by John Cage, recorded by WNYC at Central Park Summerstage, just two weeks before his death in July of 1992.  It was a world premiere of his work, Four6, featuring Cage, vocalist Joan La Barbara, pianist/percussionist Leonard Stein, and percussionist William Winant.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program XI

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WNYC

Airs 11/21, at 8PM on Q2 Music
In the eleventh of these special City Circus programs, hear a 1982 concert performance of duo piano music by Erik Satie along with Cage’s “Credo in Us” for piano & percussion. Both are from the massive day-long festival, Wall-to-Wall John Cage, recorded at Symphony Space. Also, there’s keyboard music by David Borden for the Mother Mallard Portable Masterpiece Company based on the four letters of Cage’s name, and more.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program X

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC

For this, the tenth edition of the John Cage: City Circus programs, hear a live performance in our studio of a work by Wendy Mae Chambers for twelve percussionists, written in memory of John Cage.  It's a voodoo tone poem called "Twelve Squared," where the number of movements was chosen by the chance operations of a tarot card reading.  There's also a choral work by Robert Moran, "Seven Sounds Unseen," introspective settings of passages from letters John Cage wrote to Moran, along with music made by the city of Tokyo in Japan.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program IX

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

WNYC

From the New Sounds archives, this is the ninth program in a series celebrating the life and legacy of John Cage, who would have been 100 this year.  Every Wednesday until the end of November, we’re bringing you these archival “John Cage: CityCircus” programs. For this show, hear a live studio performance by Margaret Leng Tan of Cage's prepared piano music for a 1950 film about the sculptor Alexander Calder.  Plus, music by Erik Satie and more.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program VIII

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WNYC

From the New Sounds archives, this is the eighth program in a series celebrating the life and legacy of John Cage, who would have been 100 this year.  Every Wednesday at 10pm until the end of November, we’re bringing you these archival “John Cage: CityCircus” programs. For this show, listen to an archival WNYC recording of John Cage himself, live from the Kitchen in 1989, performing his reading, “As It Were.” Plus, hear Cage’s masterwork, Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, as performed by Joshua Pierce.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program VII

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WNYC

 For this, the seventh edition of the John Cage: City Circus programs, hear the final radio appearance with John Cage, from July of 1992, just a few weeks before his death.  (This aired originally on the daily music performance show, Around New York.)  In this interview, Cage talks about the connection that his music shares with Erik Satie’s, and pianist Michael Torre performs live in the studio. 

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John Cage: City Circus, Program VI

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WNYC

In the sixth of these special City Circus programs, listen to a show based around Cage’s connection to Japan and fascination with things Japanese, like Haiku poetry, Zen Buddhism, and traditional Japanese instruments.  Listen to a WNYC recording of a live performance on traditional Japanese instruments of Cage’s work “Ryoanji” inspired by the famous rock garden in Japan.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program XIII

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To mark what would have been John Cage’s 100th birthday, New Sounds and Q2 Music have been presenting a 1994 series of rare in-studio recordings and interviews with the composer - "John Cage: City Circus," what we thought to be thirteen programs worth.  Except that when we went digging through the archives, we could only come up with twelve.  So here, after many years, and in this John Cage centennial year, is the missing 13th installment - a new show to complete the series. 

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John Cage: City Circus, Program V

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

WNYC

Airs 8PM, Wednesday, 10/10 on the Q2 Music stream.
For this show, the fifth in the John Cage: City Circus series, hear words and music by John Cage. From an entire program of "Singing Through John Cage," recorded live at Central Park Summerstage in July of 1992, just a month before Cage died that August, vocalist Joan La Barbara performs Cage's setting of a text by e.e. cummings. Also, the Dutch ensemble The Barton Workshop performs Cage's "Music for Six," where each player is an individual, reacting personally to pitches in a time frame and not to one another.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program IV

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WNYC

For this show, the fourth in the John Cage: City Circus series, listen to music from a tribute double album collection of John Cage pieces performed by friends, colleagues, and admirers called, “A Chance Operation.” Laurie Anderson tells Merce Cunningham tales, Percussionist/composer David Van Tieghem contributed “Living Room Music,” and bass player Robert Black performs a work by Larry Austin.  

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John Cage: City Circus, Program III

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WNYC

In the third of these special City Circus programs, listen to highlights from a "Wall to Wall Cage & Friends" concert recorded live at Symphony Space back in 1982.  There's a percussion piece by John Cage, another percussion work by Henry Cowell, as well as some unplanned readings by the composer himself.

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Celebrating Cage and Debussy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Two of arguably the most influential composers of the twentieth century turned super old this year: John Cage (100 this month) and Claude Debussy (150 last August). This week on Hammered! we pay homage to these modern musical titans with alternating selections from each’s vast piano oeuvre.

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Audio dada: A precursor to John Cage's 4'33", 20 years earlier

Thursday, September 13, 2012

As New Sounds celebrates composer John Cage's 100th birthday, we at the WNYC archives add our own, irreverent archival item to the celebration: a WMCA News Parade program with an eerie premonition of John Cage's famous "silent" piece, 4'33".

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John Cage at 100: "City Circus"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On September 5, 2012, John Cage would have celebrated his 100th birthday. To commemorate the legendary composer's centennial, New Sounds's John Schaefer presents 13 archival episodes of Cage interviews, rare recordings and performances Wednesdays this fall on Q2 Music at 8 pm.

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John Cage: @100 "City Circus" Show Schedule

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WNYC

The series, "John Cage: City Circus," thirteen programs celebrating the composer's life and legacy, will air on both WNYC's SPECIAL Stream at 10PM and on Q2 Music at 8PM on Wednesdays.  Full schedule:

Read More

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John Cage: City Circus, Program II

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WNYC

For this New Sounds, there's more music from the influential and infamous composer John Cage, as part of his centennial celebration. 100 years old today.  Hear a 1977 performance of "Dream" by John Cage himself recorded live in Woodstock.  There's also a co-composition by Lou Harrison and John Cage, music by Henry Cowell, and more.

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John Cage: City Circus, Program 1

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

For this New Sounds, hear music from the radical, innovative, mischievous, inventive, and influential John Cage, the notorious sound-experimenter, subscriber to chance, mycology aficionado, and player of chess. He would have been 100 years old today.  Listen to one of his pieces that creates space and stasis, “In a Landscape,” from a 1991 in-studio performance by Margaret Leng-Tan.

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John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, with Adam Tendler

Sunday, September 02, 2012

David Garland welcomes pianist Adam Tendler for an introduction to the unusual, beautiful sounds of Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, and some of the ideas and thoughts behind them. Featured are highlights from Tendler's performance of the piece recorded at Seabury Hall, Maui, in 2008.

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So Percussion Dances with John Cage

Monday, April 02, 2012

Spending an evening listening to So Percussion’s Cage 100 Bootleg Series is somewhat akin to sitting up all night in college, drinking red table wine, smoking Parliaments and discussing what it all means.

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