Monday, April 30, 2007

Performance practice

This video of John Cage's 1960 appearance on I've Got A Secret, including a performance of Water Walk, is a great document of Cage both as a performing musician and a public figure.

It is also a good example of Cage's pragmatism: all of his scores were composed to be played, and in this case, when a union conflict made it impossible to plug in the five radios required in the score, Cage substituted an alternative, non-electric, instrumental technique. I am sure that this variation from the printed score will receive due attention from musicologists and historically-informed performance practice specialists in the future.

1 comment:

Ben.H said...

Yeah. It's a great little example of how so many of Cage's radical, creative left-turns were also practical solutions to real-life problems.

(No room for a percussion orchestra? Prepared piano! Can't get the rights to arrange Satie? Write a Cheap Imitation!)