Music for Prepared Piano

Popularized by John Cage to approximate the sound of a percussion orchestra, the prepared piano has been used by composers like Arvo Pärt, Mikel Rouse, and of course Cage himself. In Cage's use, the preparations consist of nuts, bolts and pieces of rubber to be lodged between and entwined around the strings, and can sound like mbiras, marimbas, bells, wood blocks, Indonesian gamelan instruments, to name a few. Mikel Rouse digitally incorporated sampled sounds of John Cage’s prepared piano into"International Cloud Atlas," the score to a Merce Cunningham dance piece "eyeSpace." Plus, Arvo Pärt made extensive use of a prepared piano in his double concerto for two violins, string orchestra, and prepared piano, "Tabula Rasa." Perhaps we'll also hear from Jason Moran, and more.

PROGRAM #2721, Music for Prepared Piano (First aired on Friday, 10/05/07)





Philipp Vandre

John Cage: Complete Short Works for Prepared Piano

Daughters of the Lonesome Isle , excerpt [2:00]

Mode #180/81** *

John Adams

The John Adams Earbox

John’s Book of Alleged Dances, #1 [2:30]

Nonesuch 10-CD box, #79453 ** Also available on a separate Nonesuch CD, #79465

Jason Moran


Gangsterism On a Lunchtable [3:00]

Blue Note #39838 **

Mikel Rouse

Love At Twenty

My Love’s Gone [5:00]

Download from iTunes, or *

Susanna And the Magical Orchestra

Melody Mountain

These Days [4:00]

Rune Grammofon #2057 *

Arvo Part

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa [26:30]

ECM #1275 *

Philipp Vandre

John Cage: Complete Short Works for Prepared Piano

Music for Marcel Duchamp [7:00]

See above.