Friday, April 03, 1998
In the 1930s, John Cage set about inventing a one-man percussion ensemble using what he had at hand: the piano. By putting rubber erasers, metal bolts, bits of wood and similar materials at predetermined places on the strings inside the piano, Cage completely altered the sounds that occurred when he hit the keys. The resulting "prepared piano" evoked Indonesia and West Africa instead of Central Europe.
Thursday, November 07, 1996
In this 1996 show, Pandit Ravi Shankar and his then 15-year old daughter, Anoushka Shankar visited the studio. The Indian sitar maestro discussed the importance of teaching the vocal repertoire so that one might sing on the sitar, and made mention of his new 4-CD retrospective, then just-released. The father-daughter duet also performed an adapted South Indian raga (actually it was performed as a family, with the time kept by Ravi's wife, since there was not a tabla player at the session.)
Monday, January 29, 1996
Composer Elodie Lauten, experimental force of nature and a seminal postminimalist, died this past week at the age of 63. To mark her passing, we'll revisit this New Sounds program from January 29, 1996.
Hear a conversation with the composer, as well as some of Lauten's music, both with and without words. Listen to "The Exotic World of Speed and Beauty," performed by two singers, a flutist, and Elodie Lauten, incorporating tape performances via computer. It's a mock-baroque orchestra, tuned to the earth-tone. Also, listen a reworking of a piece from Lauten's first opera, "The Death of Don Juan," and more. Lauten's death came two days after the debut performance of her now-definitive version of "Waking in New York", an opera with the libretto created for her by poet Allen Ginsberg about New York City and the diversity of its people, at the Church of St. Mark's in-the-Bowery.
See The National Opera Center performance of this opera
Wednesday, July 27, 1994
For this, the twelfth edition of the John Cage: City Circus programs, listen to the final concert performance by John Cage, featuring Joan La Barbara, Leonard Stein, and William Winant. It was a world premiere of his work, Four6, recorded by WNYC at Central Park Summerstage, just two weeks before his death in July of 1992. Four6 invites its players to individually choose and number 12 sounds that they are willing to make, and to begin and end them sometime during a set of fixed durations and was dedicated to Pauline Oliveros on the occasion of her 60th birthday.
Wednesday, July 20, 1994
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.
Wednesday, July 13, 1994
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.