Friday, 20 January 2012

ENO presents John Cage Musicircus

The ENO is the first opera company to present John Cage's legendary Musicircus, for one day only! March 3rd. COMPLETELY FREE !!!!  "Cage's idea for the composition was to invite a wide range of musicians and other artists to perform different works simultaneously. Within the limits of a precise structure determined by chance operations this created a unique, exciting and seemingly anarchic sound."

A multitude of people from different walks of life, from Michael Nyman and Led Zeppelin to a botanist from my old college, a Chess Grand Master and someone who plays toy piano. Serendipity, perhaps, but also purposeful, as all were among Cage's interests. Curated by Stephen Montague who worked with Cage for 15 years, it's a multi dimension re-creation of Cage's personality which you absorb as and how you can on different levels. Not so far, conceptually, from how we get to know people. layer by layer.

"The audience is invited to explore an array of performances, installations and experiences, which will create new and unusual relationships and a collision of sound and images."  These things do work. I knew of someone who owned a collection of keyboards and had an event where all were played simulateously by different professionals, (no amateurs allowed near these instruments) as if the keyboards were having a conversation, each adding their individual voices.  It happened soon after Cage dreamed up Musicircus, so maybe it was influenced by him?

1 comment:

Dominic Rivron said...

As someone who, as a young teenager, listened to Cage's HPSCHD at the proms under the blankets the way one reads books at that age, I'd love to hear this.

Variations VII was put on at the Baltic in Gateshead a few years ago - along with a smaller scale version of HPSCHD. These were a fantastic experiences, too.

I'm also fascinated how, what with all the indeterminacy, Cage manages to "sound like" Cage.