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All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn and John Cage’s "33 1/3"

Sep 24, 2022: 7pm - 8pm
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All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn and John Cage’s "33 1/3" Broadcast Image

All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn and John Cage’s "33 1/3" Broadcast Image. Courtesy the John Cage Trust.

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

“All Things Cage” continues its break from its usual conversational format to allow for an introductory program that takes a closer look at Cage’s composition 33 1/3, scored for 12 turntables, 21 stereo amplifiers, 12 pairs of speakers, any 300 LPs, and the audience as participant performers. It was first performed at the University of California, Davis on Nov. 21, 1969 during Cage’s one-semester residency there, part of a larger, day-long event entitled Mewantemooseicday. This is introductory in the sense that Kuhn will talk next week, on July 3, with Jade Dellinger, director of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison College in Fort Myers, Florida, about his curation of 33 1/3 for the Tampa Art Museum in 2012. Unlike Cage’s first performance, wherein which LPs were made available to be played was chance determined by the owner of a local record store, Dellinger invited his performers, most very well known in the music world, to contribute their own favorites. A big difference, to be sure, and yet another example of what John Cage is doing now!

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 lkuhn@johncage.org. 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!