All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn and Lawrence Voytek
90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere
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Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.
Laura Kuhn talks with Lawrence Voytek, who, for 25 years, served as studio assistant to the celebrated American artist and one of John Cage’s closest friends, Robert Rauschenberg. Lawrence is not a trained musician, but an inspired one, taking his lead from Cage in his interest in noise and its place in performance. He plays regularly with fellow musicians Kat Epple and Laurence Getford in the band Sonic Combine, AKA “The Robert Rauschenberg Studio House Band,” but tonight we’ll listen to an excerpt from another of his endeavors, “Strategic Structures,” a name given to both a series of musical metal sculptures built by Voytek and spontaneous compositions that arose out of a 1989 jam session utilizing these instruments performed by Epple, Bob Stohl, and Robert Rauschenberg himself. The setting was Rauschenberg’s Beach House on idyllic Captiva Island, and, as Epple recounts, this was “…a magical night, an inspired collaboration, and an exhilarating setting.”
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 email@example.com. 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!