Langham Research Centre performs the early electronic works of John Cage, using tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, &c, to accurately recreate these ear-opening and forward-thinking conceptual works.
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Label: Sub Rosa
Catalog ID: SR 361LP
Squidco Product Code: 18714
Packaging: Vinyl LP in a cardstock sleeve
Various location and dates.
Felix Carey-record player, cartridge, auxiliary sounds, open-reel tape
Iain Chambers-cartridge, auxiliary sounds, cassette tape, open-reel tape, radio
Philip Tagney-synthesizer, cartridge, auxiliary sounds, spoken word
Robert Worby-square-wave oscillator, cartridge, auxiliary sounds, radio
Catherine Carter-mezzo-soprano (track 1)
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• Show Bio for John Cage
"John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 - August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.
Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was also a pioneer of the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by objects placed between or on its strings or hammers), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces. The best known of these is Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48).
His teachers included Henry Cowell (1933) and Arnold Schoenberg (1933-35), both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage's major influences lay in various East and South Asian cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951. The I Ching, an ancient Chinese classic text on changing events, became Cage's standard composition tool for the rest of his life. In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life - not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living"."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage)
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01. Fontana Mix with Aria (1958)
02. Imaginary Landscape n .5 (1952)
03. WBAI (1960)
04. Cartridge Music (1960)
05. 0'00'' (1962)
06. Variations I (1960)
sample the album:
"Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios -- for example, when he composed 'Fontana Mix' in 1958 -- his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc.
He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mass communication and Marshall McLuhan's 'global village.' The hiss, crackle and hum of electronic circuits, and the disembodied sounds, snatched by radio from the ether, spoke of the 20th century.
Langham Research Centre works within the tradition firmly established by Cage, using resources that would have been available to him. For the realization of Cartridge Music, moving iron phonograph pickups were sourced and restored. These have a knurled screw designed to hold a steel phonograph needle and, in the piece, other objects are inserted and amplified: pieces of wire, toothpicks, paperclips, etc. The realization of 'Fontana Mix' includes the individual mono tracks from Cage's original tapes created in 1958. These are played using open-reel tape machines. These practices ensure we work within the limitations that Cage experienced and enable us to get close to the soundworld he inhabited."-Robert Worby, Langham Research CentreAlso available on CD.
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music