Jared Scribbles

An awkward artist recording her progression in life.

John Cage’s MUSICIRCUS

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As of late, I’ve been trying to get myself out of the apartment and enjoy all the art and music events that are going on around Austin. Last week I went to the VAC’s opening, a few days ago I went to a lecture series by some art critiques, and today I went to the Blanton Museum’s SoundSpace event which was in celebration of John Cage’s 100th Birthday (even though I think his birthday is in September) in which they performed John Cage’s MUSICIRCUS. According to the program they gave us MUSICIRCUS was first performed in 1967 and it is “a cacophony of concurrent performances, determined by chance distribution.”

If you don’t know what chance music is, then I suggest that you read up on it as soon as possible. Honestly, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you don’t have time to read or have no idea what I am talking about, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning “dice“) is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work’s realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities.” 

John Cage was a music theorist, writer, philosopher, artist, and one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was known for his experimental music and for his creation of the prepared piano (and of course several other things). One of his most famous and most controversial pieces was entitled 4’33” (pronounced “four minutes, thirty-three seconds”). Since there is no video of him performing this piece, here is someone else playing it.

A good piece that you can see John Cage perform in is in his performance of Water Walk which was aired on television back in the day.

John Cage was such a strange individual and many people don’t understand why he was and still is such an influential composer. I think it just takes a very open mind in order to enjoy his pieces. In all honesty, I enjoy listening to his stuff on occasion and absolutely enjoy reading about him and his work. I’m pretty sure John Cage would be my perfect match.

I wanted to record some video of today’s performances but my camera on my phone was acting funny so I was only able to take some pictures. But here’s a video of someone else, just to show which piece opened and closed today’s performance. It’s entitled Suite for Toy Piano, by John Cage.

Anyways, here are some photos from the event:

At this point of the performance they started talking about moustaches and this guy (above) put on a fake moustache. After that, they all began chanting “moustache.”

Also, here’s one of my favorite art pieces at the Blanton.

Honestly, it was such an entertaining event, I wish they would do this again.

Austin, you’re weird, but I like you that way.

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