John Cage: for some he’s a clown with no brains. For others he’s one of the greatest geniuses of 20th-century music, not because he’s written so many masterworks you want to baskin over and over again but because he is a thoroughbred adventurer in sound, who time and time again makes you listen in a different way.
Cage is the opposite of what his name sounds like, an unadulterated out-of-the-cage-composer. For him, the whole world is music, literally everything, from absolute silence to unbearable racket. In this programme you’ll hear mainly early Cage works: an unpredictable piece for an old radio collection, a dash of ‘muzak’ from the age when there were barely any supermarkets to play it in, a percussion piece starring beer cans, and an intimate dialogue between electronics and acoustic sounds.
The most fun thing about Cage is that he not only draws you into surprising sonic worlds but that he also gets your own imagination working. And John Luther Adams’s spiritual piece adds to the atmosphere, since his shamanic drum will take you to higher spheres in any case.
"Money may travel faster than sound in some directions, but not in the direction of musical experimentation or extension. If only a one-hundredth part of the funds that are expendedin this country for the elaborate production of opera, spectacular or otherwise, or of the money invested in soft-headed movies with their music resultants – if only a small part of these funds could be directed to the unsensational but important fields of musical activity, music in general would be the gainer." – Charles Ives (Music and Its future, 1933)
PART OF 'UUR KULTUUR' KU LEUVEN
John Cage: Imaginary Landscape No. 1
John Luther Adams: Qilyaun
John Cage: Radio Music
John Cage: In a landscape
John Cage: 3rd Construction
Including mini-intro by Maarten Beirens
Slagwerk Den Haag
Since its founding in 1977, Slagwerk Den Haag has become an ensemble that sets the trend in terms of inventiveness and diversity of sound. Several years ago they brought blissful smiles to the faces of the Leuven audience, playing a programme with the theme of ‘wood’. This time they’re working on music by John Cage. It’ll be another blend of cleverness and intensity, because that’s simply their trademark.