So this Sunday, September 23rd, my group will have a pleasure of performing at Cage Hop concert! Cage Hop is a festival dedicated to John Cage, and so, we will be playing his Credo in Us. The concert will be held at South Oxford Space, 138 S Oxford St, Brooklyn. It starts at 7.00pm. I hope to see some of you there!
What’s particularly exciting for me is that I won’t be playing violin – I will be operating a radio and record player!. As you probably know, Credo in Us score does not include violin, but I think it’s really great that I still will PERFORM – communicate with an audience – only using completely different means. It’s kind of refreshing and helps realize an important question – what does it really mean to be a performer, entertainer, how much of an impact can I have by simply pressing a button of a household device?
I think it’s yet another proof of John Cage’s genius that his piece provokes such questions. It’s hard not to see a parallel with Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, like his Fountain from 1917. Where is a boundary between art and life, does a simple decision of an artist elevate a ‘thing’ to the level of art?
The number of layers is even bigger in Cage’s piece – not only are radio and record player everyday objects, not recognized as musical instruments – they transmit someone else’s music – someone else’s art. Is Cage sampling other people’s music like hip-hop MC’s do? Does Beethoven’s Symphony have an entirely new quality simply because it’s juxtaposed with sounds of percussion, prepared piano and alarm clock? Or maybe it’s still the same piece of music, standing independently from the environment?
Having to answer those questions seems exciting enough but I simply am looking forward to being on the stage in a completely new role.