All Things Cage: Jeff Arnal

Feb 20, 2021: 7pm - 8pm
WGXC 90.7-FM: Radio for Open Ears

90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and everywhere

Standing Wave Radio and 1620-AM at Wave Farm

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

Jeff Arnal has worked in the arts and nonprofit sector for the past two decades. Prior to coming to the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in 2016, he worked as a Senior Specialist for the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in Philadelphia. In 2000, he co-founded Improvised and Otherwise, an interdisciplinary festival for emerging artists in Brooklyn, NY. As a composer and percussionist, he has performed and collaborated with a wide range of musicians and choreographers throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has received grants and fellowships from Art Omi International, ASCAP, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Meet the Composer. His music can be heard on a number of independent record labels including Clean Feed in Portugal and Leo Records in England. Arnal earned his MFA in music from Bennington College, his BA in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Maryland and studied percussion at The Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD.

Black Mountain College was an experimental college founded in 1933, ideologically organized around John Dewey’s principles of education, which emphasized holistic learning and the study of art as central to a liberal arts education. Many of the school’s faculty and students went on to become highly influential in the arts, including John Cage, Josef and Anni Albers, Charles Olson, Ruth Asawa, Walter Gropius, Ray Johnson, Merce Cunningham, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and Mary Caroline Richards, along with many others. The history and legacy of Black Mountain College are preserved and extended by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, with Jeff Arnal at the helm.

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!