Variations VII UK Premier

A piece by experimental composer John Cage (best known for his 1952 silent work 4′ 33″) will gets its UK premier on February 29th. Variations VII was originally premiered in New York inJohn Cage 1966.

The piece, an exercise in ‘chance music’ then involved Geiger counters,electrical appliances and 10 phone lines connected to various New York locations such as a restaurant, dog pound and dance studio.

The UK premier will take place at the Baltic Centre in Gateshead as part of the North Easts AV festival of electronic arts, a biennial event with the phone line aspect connected to various Gateshead locations.

The hour long piece will be performed by Japanese-American composer Atau Tanaka and Newcastle musical duo Zoviet France.
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2 thoughts on “Variations VII UK Premier

  1. More grist for the “what is art?” debate. Far be it from me to deny anyone the title of “artist” but when you compare the wondrous intricately designed creations of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart, you have to wonder at today’s “music”, more often than not built, Lego-like, from a hotch-potch of noises.

    While I agree that there can be pleasure in a wide range of sounds – birdsong, the happy chatter of people enjoying themselves, and even the rumble of the Tube as it passes under our house – I would hesitate to call any of these things “music” or anyone who works them into a composition, a “composer”.

    I would like to think that art arose from a search for beauty and meaning, structured by a mind possessed of an extraordinary aesthetic sense and sure judgement. Probably that means I am dull and old-fashioned and not worthy to pass judgement on what passes for “art” these days.

  2. Hello SilverTiger-Well music, like art is something we all have our own definitions of. Cage is hardly a current composer so maybe all the great experimenting (that which could still upset people) has already taken place. Even Beethoven’s later work would have been considered quite avante-garde at the time so maybe the passage of time brings most experimental works into the mainstream. I’m happy to replace the term ‘composer’ with ‘arranger’ in the context of this piece.

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