2004 Swed 2004

Mark Swed Classical Music Critic's Notebook: The Sound of America, Los Angeles Times, Sunday 25 January 2004. E43, 2004, 2001, 1942, 1941, 1912

     ". . .

     "Every January, the BBC Symphony devotes a single-minded weekend to a modern composer. Beginning on a Friday night and running all day Saturday and Sunday at the Barbicon Centre, it involves orchestral and chamber concerts, solo recitals, films and talks. BBC Radio broadcasts everything, and television generally picks up a concert or two. In 2001, the composer was John Adams. Last year, it was Mark-Anthony Turnage. Schnittke, Janácek and Ives have been others.

     "This time, the event was John Cage Uncaged: A Weekend of Musical Mayhem. And if "4'33"" was, sonically, the least of it, the most of it was a "Musicircus" that spilled over three floors of the Barbicon's lobby areas and into its art gallery and a men's room.

     "Cage, born in Los Angeles in 1912, is known for having changed the idea of what music can be. Shortly after studying with Arnold Schoenberg at UCLA, he realized that silence is as important as sound in a composition and that all noises are musical. He became a pioneer in percussion music - his Third Construction from 1941 is now a classic, the most performed work in the percussion ensemble repertory - invented the prepared piano (in which household objects such as screws and nuts are inserted within the instrument to give it new percussive sounds) and devised various ways to compose using chance operations.

     "For Cage, who settled in New York in 1942 and remained there until his death 50 years later, music's function was to focus the attention . . .

     ". . .

{Lest I forget both David Avshalomov and Larry Mace are percussion players.}

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017