Thursday, November 10, 2005



Tonight I decided to tackle one of the fairly long number pieces I have floating around.  There’s a Zachary W. Bond who plays trombone at Yale and shares my name down to the initial.  One of the works is one he should play!

I’ll post the skeleton reviews tonight and fill them in the morning...I updated the unowned works list to remove items donated recently or that I expect to have very soon.  Thanks to all those who have offered!

Every night for the past few weeks I have been listening to Indeterminacy as I go to bed.  Cage’s voice is very soothing, especially as I hear him through my earplugs, a little muffled.  I keep wishing that one day I would meet another Cage aficionado with whom I could share the following in-joke (or any like it):

Him: “So, Zac, what do you think of the international situation?”
Me: “The thing to to”
Both: (cackling)

No on this one, I’m afraid, so all I know is what it’s scored for, trombone and piano, and that it was written in 1991.  My rendition features a whole lot of silence, which is to be expected as pianos don’t hold their tone quite so long.  The music lasts nearly 40 minutes, and I pumped it up to a very high volume for my enjoyment.  

The trombone tends to play very long single tones, whereas the piano plays chords as well as single tones, often several in a sequence.  The piano seems consistent in the softness of its music, and never overpowers me with loud strikes the way some of Cage’s works do.  Since often the two instruments play together, you get the distinct feeling of the piano “poking around” the solid tone from the trombone, so I like to think of this work as being like rain falling through a beam of light.  

I was amazed by how much I like this work.  I think it’s a powerful accompaniment to natural sounds, thanks to its extended silences.  My apartment door opens onto a hallway open to the outside air, and when it’s fall and windy out, leaves often rustle as they blow past my door.  This music accompanied the sound impressively.  I often get the feeling that Cage’s late work is intended to emulate nature, and so it makes sense that it accompanies nature so well.  

Experiences I
Another in Cage’s set of Satie-like piano works from the 40’s.  This one’s from 1945 and is a simple work utilizing only the white keys.   I really enjoy the music, despite (because of?) its simplicity.  I guess it’s instantly appealing.  It also has clear similarities to the Experiences for voice.  The most interesting aspect of this piece may be the way it pauses so abruptly, leaving unexpected spaces between similar-sounding passages.    My recording is not so great; there seems to be a lot of odd noise on top.  

This is just the blog I've been looking for. I began my own blog in Aug. 2004, inspired by John Cage's Indeterminacy. I suppose it is a visual interpretation of his Indeterminacy concept, matching found photos with "one minute short stories." But ironically, I know very little about Cage's other recorded works. I've added a link back to you and hope to follow what you discover over the weeks, confronting Cage's works.
Kind regards,
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