Written for the Ear to the Earth 100 x John project, a salute to the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth.
Duration: 5 minutes
World Premiere: May 2, 2012 , Ear to the Earth 100 x John
The framework for Cage(d) is a recording of John Cage discussing his approach to composition and sound, specifically everyday environmental sounds, and silence.
At the core of this piece, there is a system that follows Cage’s voice. Prosody (intonation and stress patterns) is mapped to musical properties (pitch, rhythm, envelope), and Cage’s voice shapes the the piece: it is used to select materials and organize them, it controls compositional processes and dictates the form, very much as if he himself composes the piece.
The materials used in this work are: environmental sound recordings from iconic locations in Cage’s life from around NYC (the East River, his apartment on 6th Ave, The New School, etc.), and recordings of his works. They are re-sampled randomly and arranged according to the predetermined parameters discussed above. In addition, percussive sounds, and various tone generators are triggered also by elements of Cage’s prosody, then cross-synthesized with his voice.