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All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn on John Cage’s "Lecture on the Weather"

Oct 23, 2021: 7pm - 8pm
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Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

Tonight on “All Things Cage” Kuhn shares a special recording from the archives of the John Cage Trust – a live performance of Cage’s Lecture on the Weather (1975), directed by Kuhn, produced by Bard College and the John Cage Trust, and presented at Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The date was Sept. 28, 2007, and the work was performed twice in commemoration of the John Cage Trust’s having gone into residential placement at Bard College just months before. The cast was stellar: John Ashbery, Leon Botstein, KC Brazeau, Merce Cunningham, Sage Fuller Cowles, Ari Fenton, Daniel Fishkin, John Kelly, Garry Kvistad, Robert Martin, Shawn Patrick Moore, Mikel Rouse, John Ralston Saul, Tristan Shepherd, Richard Teitelbaum, and Zeke Virant. Joan Retallack, long on faculty at Bard College, served as dramaturg.

An excerpt from the work will also be heard at the COP26 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this year – one in a series of presentations given by the organization Music for Climate Justice (aka M4CJ) that will feature over 300 performances of music from every continent on Earth, along with personal statements from the musicians themselves about the urgency of the climate crisis and the necessity of action.

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!

Photo ©Donald Dieetz.