Friday, December 16, 2005


Etudes Australes

I put together all the remaining files, with a few exceptions, into one gigantic playlist today, and the total time comes to about 32 hours.  Wow.  While I have this free time I should try to take some fairly big bites out of it, much as MacGruff takes large bites out of crime.  The difference between me and MacGruff is that I am not an animated dog in a trenchcoat.  

I don’t know if he’s still around anymore, and it’s a safe bet no one in Europe has any clue what I’m talking about so I’ll just stop now.

So I spent an hour or so digging through the Library of Congress catalog on Cage, and was dispappointed to see that none of the rare items are among their collection (unsurprising, all are foreign).  I’m also considering emailing Claudia Gould, who was the curator of the Music Box Project of which Cage’s Lullaby was a part, to find out where I might uncover a recording.  I question whether this is an ‘actual’ work or not, since it appears to just be an arrangement for music box of Cage’s Extended Lullaby which was a part one of the number pieces.  

Does anyone else see question marks all over the place when loading my Index and other pages?  I have to change my language settings to “Western” instead of “Unicode” to get them to go away (in Firefox) and it’s annoying.  Excel and Word must be inserting unfriendly tags into my uploads.  How sad.  

Etudes Australes, volume 1 and 2
Ah, everyone’s favorite: sparse piano music based on an astronomical atlas!  Except this isn’t sparse at all; it’s actually full of notes.  Thus it’s a more pleasing listening experience, and not as likely to bring sleep.  The music was placyed quickly on my recording, and I would repeat a comment Cage once said about Winter Music: It has become melodic.  One thing in oarticular that was unusual with this music, as far as Cage’s various etudes are concerned, is that each one was fairly distinctive, and if I heard it a few more times I could easily distinguish one of them from the otherers.  This is surprising in basically random collections of tones and chords.  I found a few of them especially pleasing: The speedy number 2 and 7, the sort of explosive number 5.   Number 8  seemed especially melodic and 13 reminded me of thunder.  Very nice!

next thing we know youll be talking about Woodsy the Owl and how pollution relates to Empty Words.
well apparently some of the listeners in Milan thought it was noise pollution...:-P
Hey, I'm from Germany, and I know MacGruff & his philosophy as well as the pre-postmodernism of Larry, Moe and Curly Joe.

I happened to listen to portions of the Milan recording of Empty Words a few days ago. A very unsettling experience. Especially from the point on when the audience gets hold of microphones, megaphones, and whatever, to scream Cage down. But he just goes on an on, like a babbling brook.

Certainly not a "beautiful" recording, but it documents some important aspects of Cage's work.

Of course, all of this has nothing do to with Zac's original review.
id love to hear an entire recording of Empty Words sometime. i wonder if one of cage reading the whole thing exists somewhere.

im actually considering doing a complete performance of it here in march.
Bah, true stoogeophiles are devoted to Shemp!

Hmm...I like the Milan reocrding both as a performance itself, and as a record of the sort of response some have to Cage. I never really understood it--it should have been relatively clear before the performance that it was going to consist of Cage making odd noises for 80 minutes or so. Why did anyone attend who was going to hate it? Hmm.

As I stated in a previous entry, I think Cage's lectures and poetry need to be collected and read. I'd love a complete Empty Words recording. It's true that no one could read like Cage did, but with sufficient practice I'm sure there are performers who can do excellent readings.

I'd like to try my hand (well...mouth) at some of the mesostics. Is there a good index anywhere of all of Cage's writings?
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