All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn on John Cage, One8 and 108 (1991)

Sep 23, 2023: 7pm - 8pm
WGXC 90.7-FM: Radio for Open Ears

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Standing Wave Radio and 1620-AM at Wave Farm

John Cage's "108" released on OgreOgress (1991) Cover

John Cage's "108" released on OgreOgress (1991) Cover. Courtesy the John Cage Trust.

Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

This week’s program is a follow-up to one that aired earlier this month – September 2, to be exact – wherein Kuhn presented Michael Bach’s performance of John Cage’s One8 for solo cello (1991), as captured on the beautiful premiere recording released by Mode Records in 2004. This week we’ll hear John Cage’s One8 as performed by cellist Karen Krummel simultaneously with his orchestral 108 (also 1991), two works composed and designed to be performed together and heard in what is in effect a cello concerto with the Chance Philharmonic and released on the OgreOgress label in 2010; the recording and mastering were the work of Glenn Freeman, founder of OgreOgress Productions as well as percussionist in this recording, with artwork by Ladislav Hanka, liner notes by George Adams, and design by Heidi Stukkie. Kuhn also includes lengthy quoted materials about Cage’s “number pieces” as well as Cage’s radical ideas about orchestral performance, drawn from an excellent article by Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed entitled “Cage and Counting: The Number Pieces,” included in the metal box catalog for Cage’s composition for museum, Rolywholyover: A Circus (NY: Rizzoli, 1993).

"All Things Cage" is a weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world. If you’d like to propose a guest or a topic for a future program, write directly to Laura at She’d love to hear from you.

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kenneth Silverman once described his Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage (Knopf, 2012) as the hardest book he’d ever written. This was because, as he put it, pick up any rock and there’s John Cage! Indeed, Cage was not only a world-renowned composer, numbering among his compositions the still notoriously tacet 4’33”, but a ground-breaking poet, a philosopher, a chess master who studied with Marcel Duchamp, a macrobiotic chef, a devotee of Zen Buddhism, a prolific visual artist, and an avid and pioneering mycologist. He was also life partner to the celebrated American choreographer, Merce Cunningham, for nearly half a century, and thus well known in the world of modern dance.

No wonder, then, that nearly everyone who encounters the man or his life’s work has something interesting to say about John Cage!

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