'24 Hours and 33 Minutes' - WNYC Online Presents John Cage Marathon Sept. 5-6

Classic Arts News   '24 Hours and 33 Minutes' - WNYC Online Presents John Cage Marathon Sept. 5-6
Today would have been — still is — the 95th birthday of composer/thinker/conceptual artist John Cage, the man without whom the lively American new music scene we have today could never have existed.

What more fitting tribute could one offer than a John Cage marathon running 24 hours and 33 minutes? (Four hours and 33 minutes just wouldn't be enough.) WNYC, New York Public Radio, is offering just such a tribute — "24 Hours and 33 Minutes," streamed online at WNYC.org beginning today at 12 noon (U.S. Eastern time) and finishing up at 12:34 p.m. tomorrow.

The programming includes much of Cage's re-creatable music as well as archival interviews with the composer himself and artists who worked with him closely, including choreographer Merce Cunningham (Cage's partner in life and art), pianist Margaret Leng Tan and singer Joan La Barbara. Composers Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk and conductor Robert Spano offer audio tributes. WNYC will stream rare material from its sound archives, including live Cage performances.

Many of the tributes and audio commentary are available in streaming audio on demand (including those by Monk, La Barbara and Spano, among others); there is on-demand video of an interview with Cunningham recorded last month and of the composer himself talking about how he came to use chance procedures. There's a "John Cage Reliquary," including old interviews in audio and transcript (including one with Cage and Morton Feldman), a selection of the composer's writings, memorable Cage quotes, and a Cage timeline. There are even links to YouTube videos of the composer performing 4'33" and of his appearance on the 1960s television show I've Got a Secret.

Among the highlights of the streaming audio schedule are some of the music for prepared piano (12-1 p.m.), the Suite for Toy Piano (1 p.m.), Tim Page and John Cage in conversation for the "Meet the Composer" series (7-8 p.m.), back-to-back versions of Credo in Us (12 midnight and again ca. 7:30 a.m.), and Cage's last public performance in 1992, not long before his death (11 a.m.).

For complete information on "24 Hours and 33 Minutes," including a full schedule, the on-demand audio and video, the John Cage Reliquary and a link to the live online audio stream (WNYC2), go to www.wnyc.org/music/johncage.html.

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