In honor of the 100th birthday of iconoclastic composer John Cage (previously), NPR asked 33 musicians about the effect Cage has had on their art. The Los Angeles Times has a tour of Cage's travels and experiences in his native city. MeFi's own speicus has a long and excellent essay up at newmusicbox.org about the performer-composer relationship Cage shared with pianist David Tudor (who premiered, among other Cage works, 4'33"). And if you've always wanted to play prepared piano and lack an instrument you want to fill with nuts and bolts, there's an app for that.
John Cage Unbound, A Living Archive is a multimedia exhibition created by the New York Public Library documenting their collection of videos, original notes and manuscripts of contemporary American composer and music theorist John Cage (1912-1992). "Cage believed that, following his detailed directions, anyone could make music from any kind of instrument" so the NYPL is asking visitors how they would bring his music to life, by submitting videos of their own interpretations of Cage’s work for possible inclusion in the archive. For more extensive collections of John Cage resources, see: WNYC: A John Cage Web Reliquary and Josh Rosen's fan page. [more inside]
John Cage's piece 4'33'' was originally written for piano but has been performed by a full orchestra. In modern times its movements have been interpreted by the guitar, harmonica, nose flute, ukulele, and toy piano. It was pretty exciting to watch Cage perform 4'33" live, but I still enjoy dancing to the party mix!
No, I'm not sure how they get it to not devolve into a wall of feedback... though that'd be pretty rad too.
A Piano In A Gallery. David Cunningham (the guy behind The Flying Lizards! Wikipedia because the main at-least-quasi-official site's down, but while you wait 16 days for that, why not read this interview with Deborah Lizard for your FL Fix) and his new project... A Piano In A Gallery. No, he's not actually PLAYING the piano -- the visitors are. It's a sort of similar thing to both Brian Eno's gallery work with ambient tape loops on different time cycles, creating an ever-shifting collage of sound and David Byrne's recent Playing The Building. The room is mic'd, and the sound is run through a piano, and amplified, both bringing background noises to the foreground AND creating feedback-style loops, as those sounds are also run into the mics and so forth. So... if you happen to be in London.... [via WFMU]