Saturday, February 19, 2011
Music for Merce (1952- 2009)
I just noticed this: New World Records has just released a 10-disk set documenting music used by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with Works by JOHN CAGE, DAVID TUDOR, TAKEHISA KOSUGI, MARYANNE AMACHER, DAVID BEHRMAN, EARLE BROWN, STUART DEMPSTER, MORTON FELDMAN, JON GIBSON, TOSHI ICHIYANAGI, JOHN KING, ANNEA LOCKWOOD, GORDON MUMMA, BO NILSSON, PAULINE OLIVEROS, MICHAEL PUGLIESE, YASUNAO TONE, CHRISTIAN WOLFF AND OTHERS. Cunningham was a choreographer who used the music of his time with an acuity for the extraordinary ranking alongside only Diaghilev, Balanchine, and Graham and the great variety of composers represented here is only sample, missing works by composers including Gottschalk, Satie, Harrison, Hovhaness, Chou Wen-Chung, Bowles, Boulez, Nancarrow, Young, Lucier, Ashley, Walter Zimmermann and many others. As a student composer, going to a Cunningham concert or even and seeing the company musicians in the pit was — and is — an exciting model of how two (or more) art forms could most usefully cohabitate.