All Things Cage: Bill Dietz, and Amy Cimini
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 Bill Dietz and Amy Cimini on the subject of the extraordinary American composer Maryanne Amacher, best known in Cage circles for her contributions to two of Cage’s works: Empty Words (1974) and Lecture on the Weather (1975). Amacher (1938-2009), who taught in the MFA Program at Bard College for the last decade of her life, worked extensively with a family of psychoacoustic phenomena called auditory distortion products (also known as distortion product otoacoustic emissions and combination tones), in which the ears themselves produce audible sound. Dietz and Cimini are co-editors of the new publication, Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interviews, published last year by Blank Forms Editions in Brooklyn, New York. Dietz is part of the formative team that created the Maryanne Amacher Foundation, which successfully placed the Amacher Archives at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
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!
Bill Dietz photographed by Pieter Kers.