30 Pieces for String Quartet

Description: 

In an exclusive interview with NYPL, David Harrington describes the technique and theory behind "Thirty Pieces for String Quartet," which Cage wrote for the Kronos Quartet in 1983. Violinist Emily Ondracek-Peterson demonstrates how to interpret certain notations in the violin part of the work.

About The Artist
Violinist David Harrington founded Kronos Quartet in 1973 in Seattle, Washington. Now based in San Francisco, the quartet has collaborated with renowned composers such as Phillip Glass and Steve Reich.
kronosquartet.org

Artist Name: 
David Harrington and Emily Ondracek-Peterson
NYPL video?: 
Yes

Ryoanji, with the University of Kentucky Contemporary Music Ensemble

Description: 

Description:
A short documentary on the preparation, performance, and history of John Cage's "Ryoanji."
Performed by Kevin Holm-Hudson, Nancy Clauter, and Jay Crutcher, of the University of Kentucky Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Artist Name: 
University of Kentucky Contemporary Music Ensemble
Artist/Group Description: 
The University of Kentucky Contemporary Music Ensemble (UKCME) consists of a group of musicians dedicated to the promotion of contemporary Western art music. Kevin Holm-Hudson (percussion) is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Kentucky. Nancy Clauter (oboe) is Associate Professor of Oboe at the University of Kentucky and Principal Oboe with the Lexington Philharmonic. Jay Crutcher (electronics) is a PhD candidate at the University of Kentucky.
NYPL video?: 
No

NYPL Video: So Percussion Interprets "But What About the Noise of Crumpling Paper..."

Description: 

In this video produced by NYPL, the quartet So Percussion use sticks, water jugs, and other instruments to play John Cage's work "But What About the Noise of Crumpling Paper Which He Used To Do in Order To Paint the Series of "Papiers Froisses" Or Tearing Up Paper to Make "Papiers Dechires?" Arp Was Stimula Ted By Water (Sea, Lake, And Flowing Waters Like Rivers), Forests." The So Percussion ensemble features members Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting. Formed in 1999, while they were students at the Yale School of Music — and inspired by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, among other composers — the quartet members create music that explores all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility.

Artist Name: 
So Percussion
NYPL video?: 
Yes

Program: American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, 1992

This program features the world premiere of Cage's "Seventy-four," conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

Date [year]: 
1992
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Carnegie Hall

John Cage Playing Amplified Cacti and Plant Materials with a Feather

Description: 

John Cage performing on Nam June Paik's television special Good Morning, Mr. Orwell (1984). Cage is joined by Takehisa Kosugi and one other unidentified person. Perhaps they were performing a composition or an improvisation that they would have done during a Merce Cunningham dance. There is also a cutaway to a Joseph Bueys piano performance art piece.

"Water Walk," interpreted by Paul Schuette

Description: 

In playing Cage's "Water Walk," performer Paul Schuette used various household appliances and other instruments.

John Cage Performs "Water Walk"

Description: 

John Cage performs "Water Walk" on the national television show "I've Got a Secret," in 1960.

Manuscript Excerpt: 30 Pieces for String Quartet

This piece uses proportional notation within time brackets. Cage instructed players to sit far apart from one another within the performance space.

NYPL catalog record

C.F Peters record

Date [year]: 
1983
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Manuscript Excerpt: Water Walk

"Water Walk" influenced the concept of performance art; Cage himself performed it on national television in 1960.

NYPL catalog record

C.F Peters record

Date [year]: 
1959
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Program: New Music Ensemble 1971

This concert illustrates the decision by the New Music Ensemble to perform "Song Books" with six other works of indeterminacy. The program includes stage directions for the performance.

Date [year]: 
1971
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