John Cage Was . . .
The striking new collection of Cage photos by James Klosty, published by Wesleyan University Press, also includes quotations about John from a variety of sources. One of the sources is the program notes that I wrote for the premiere of my Five Dances for String Quartet, arrangements of Cage prepared piano pieces at a Cage Festival at Bard College a couple of years ago. The quote (about Cage and mushroom) is pretty good but the best part is the company it keeps!
Review of the October Performance of Salzman’s Five Dances
The very successful performance of the Five Dances on October 30th at Bard was described by the John Cage Trust Blog as follows:
“Given the paucity of arrangements in his own catalog, one might wonder what Cage would think of the two works that make use of his works that were featured at last month’s John Cage at Bard College Symposium. Of all of the pieces included in the two evening programs at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on October 30 and 31, these little-known arrangements were clear audience favorites. The first, Eric Salzman’s Five Dances (1996-97), is an arrangement for string quartet of five works by Cage originally composed for prepared piano: Our Spring Will Come (1943), Dream (1948), Totem Ancestor (1943), In a Landscape (1948), and A Room (1943). While long available from C.F. Peters as EP 67725, the work is rarely performed. Here’s the third movement from the feisty performance by four of Bard College’s finest Conservatory musicians—Fanghue He, Yue Sun, Leah Gastler, and Laura Hendrickson.”
Premiere of Salzman’s Five Dances for String Quartet
On October 30th, Eric Salzman’s Five Dances for String Quartet, based on prepared piano music written in the 1940s by John Cage, will be performed for a concert of Cage’s music at Bard College as part of a three-day symposium on Cage, celebrating the Cage Trust at Bard. Read the full press release (PDF). Note that, although individual pieces have been performed separately (Totem Ancestor was widely performed and recorded by the Kronos Quartet), this is the premiere of the set as a whole.