soundOFF

new thoughts about new (percussion) music
from Third Coast Percussion

Apr 16

RENGA:Cage:100

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth, and the year has already seen some extremely exciting performances, festivals, exhibitions, lectures, and more. Here’s a full listing of events provided by the John Cage Trust.

Third Coast Percussion has been celebrating so far with concerts, master classes, a soon-to-be-released DVD and CD on Mode Records, a John Cage iPhone app, and more. Beginning next week we will also be launching a series of blog posts dedicated to John Cage, specifically Cage’s percussion music written between 1935 and 1943.

Celebrating this momentous year is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. So for the next phase of the Centenary Celebration we thought we’d ask 100 of our closest composer friends to help out.

The idea for RENGA:Cage:100 came from Cage’s own works Renga and Apartment House 1776, which can be performed simultaneously. Renga is a form of Japanese collaborative poetry involving 2 or more poets taking turns writing lines of the same poem. Our RENGA will be one piece of music composed by 100 different composers, each contributing a sound, a musical idea, or some other prescribed performance or activity. We will use chance operations to determine the order in which we perform the contributions of each composer.

We began reaching out to composers late last week, and we’re extremely excited to have 63 composers already on board. Here’s a complete list of those who have signed on so far… Aaron Holloway-Nahum, Aaron Jay Kernis, Aaron Siegel, Aaron Travers, Alejandro Vinao, Alexandre Lunsqui, Amy Beth Kirsten, Amy Williams, Andrew Norman, Andrew Tham, Andy Akiho, Anna Clyne, Annie Gosfield, Augusta Read Thomas, Ben Leeds Carson, Brad Lubman, Christopher Adler, Chris Cerrone, Chris Fisher-Lochhead, Christian Wolff, Corey Dargel, Dai Fujikura, Daniel Dehaan, David Paha, David Smooke, David T. Little, Dominick DiOrio, Eric Beach, Hans Thomalla, Jacob Cooper, Jacob TV, Jason Treuting, Joan La Barbara, John Supko, Josh Quillen, Joseph Schwantner, Judah Adashi, Louise Fritensky, Marc Mellits, Marcos Balter, Mark Berger, Martin Bresnick, Mathew Rosenblum, Matthew Barnson, Michael Burritt, Nick Norton, Oscar Bettison, Paola Prestini, Paul Lansky, Rob Honstein, Robert Pound, Roger Zahab, Ross Karre, Ryan Ingebritsen, Sam Scranton, Samuel Adams, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sean Shepherd, Shani Aviram, Stacy Garrop, Steve Mackey, Ted Hearne, and Timo Andres.

We are planning to give a preview performance on May 25 at our CD release concert at the Mayne Stage in Chicago. The full premiere will take place in New York City on August 9th at a soon-to-be-announced very exciting concert.

Here is a glimpse at the instructions we’ve asked our composers to follow in creating their portion of the RENGA:

• To create your portion of the RENGA:
o Compose 5-7 seconds of music, or
o Compose 1 measure of music, or
o Choose 5-7 seconds of music you have already written, or
o Choose 1 measure of music you have already written, or
o Create a recorded sound to be included in performance, or
o Create an image, text, or other artwork to be interpreted in performance, or
o Prescribe a disciplined action for the performers.
• Spend at least 100 seconds on your contribution.
• Do not spend more than 100 minutes on your contribution.
• All of the instruments you write for must weigh less than 100 ounces (6.25 lb.), or
• We will find a way to accommodate your instrumentation to the best of our abilities. Remember we are an ensemble of 4 percussionists

Below is one of our first submissions, from the fantastically creative Corey Dargel:

And here’s another submission, this one from the brilliant mind of Christopher Adler:

We’ll plan to post more of the composers’ contributions as we receive them. And stay tuned for the first post in our Cage:Percussion blog series, coming soon.


  1. jillene-lane reblogged this from thirdcoastpercussion
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  3. earalone reblogged this from thirdcoastpercussion and added:
    feeling this blog...see Third Coast’s latest project celebrating
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