All Things Cage: Jonathan Hiam
90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere
wavefarm.org/listen and 1620-AM at Wave Farm
Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.
Laura Kuhn talks with Jonathan Hiam, Curator of Music and Recorded Sound at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, who specializes in American music and recorded sound, with emphasis on 20th-century music. He oversees one of the world’s largest sound archives, which contains audio recordings and other materials that document the earliest days of recording through to today’s digital media. He also curates and assists researchers with the extensive American Music Collection, which covers the full range of American music, from early manuscripts, scores, and sheet music to the papers of major contemporary American composers, including the extensive “John Cage Music Manuscript Collection.” Most recently Hiam has produced a series of short videos that explore composer and sound artist Maryanne Amacher’s work through conversations as a shared engagement across social time and distance. Hiam holds an MA in Music History and Literature from Boston University and a PhD in Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His blog posts are available at https://www.nypl.org/blog/author/818
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!