"These are my friends. I love their music. They are among the most important people in my life. The portrait is shattered because I could not make it whole." If you're bored this weekend, check out Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether. Each episode features a "landscape" (unusually-staged informal discussion) with a contemporary American composer, followed by a one-hour performance of his or her work. Subjects include the recently discussed Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, and Philip Glass. More on Ashley from NewMusicBox and Ubu.
"To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities." Erik Satie's Vexations (previously) was more-or-less disregarded as an unperformable thought experiment, until John Cage staged an eighteen-hour performance in 1963. The event cemented Satie's importance in avant-garde music and his influence on a generation of artists. In 2006, several musicians and artists performed their own renditions.
"I am sitting in a room (mp3), different from the one you are in now." is the opening phrase from Alvin Lucier's (Wikipedia) best known work, simply titled 'I am sitting in a room'. The piece involves playing a recording of a short speech back into the room and re-recording the result. This is done again and again, with the resonant frequencies of the room reinforced each time, until all that is left are the characteristics and resonances of the room. (Interview and documentary also available at ubu.com