Cageans in Poland


(UPDATE BELOW) Some photos from last month's Cage conference in Lublin, Poland, have arrived, taken by conference photographer Marcin Moszynski. Here's a shot of most of the participants (minus David Revill and Margaret Leng Tan, for some reason). I will make a hash of it if I try to identify them all, but that's Chris Shultis fifth from left, conference director Jerzy Kutnik behind two women and just under the lamp, David Nicholls between Jerzy and me, Gordon Mumma slightly crouched in front of me, and behind me Stanford political scientist … [Read more...]

A Concordian Hail-Mary Pass

Toward the end of the "Hawthorne" essay in Essays Before a Sonata, Ives refers to “the old hymn-tune that haunts the church and sings only to those in the churchyard to protect them from secular noises, as when the circus parade comes down Main Street….” In writing my Concord Sonata book I've read, or in many cases reread, almost all of Hawthorne, especially the stories and novels in which this kind of reference might arise, and I can't find anything Ives could have been referring to. As I continue slogging through the remainder (and I have to … [Read more...]

Bendy Pitches

A brief new tuning study for the 232-key piano of my imagination: Romance Postmoderne. As I was playing it, my wife said, "Boy, the pitches in that are really bendy." Then she looked at me suspiciously and added, "You can't hear it, can you?" And I had to admit I couldn't. It sounds so normal to me; I'd love to hear how weird it sounds to other people, but I've just grown too accustomed to thirteenth harmonics. The tuning is really elegant, all harmonics of Eb: the odd numbers from 1 to 15 multiplied by each other, an 8 x 8 grid comprising 33 … [Read more...]

Interviewee of the Year

You can hear here an eleven-minute interview that Steve Paulson did with me for "The Best of Our Knowledge" about Cage's 4'33".  I couldn't listen to all of it, my own voice on the radio makes me squirm. I'm in love with my own words - when I see them in print, not when I'm speaking them. I wish I spoke more slowly and evenly and with more gravitas, though my style does seem to be entertaining in the classroom. It didn't really occur to me that I had written books about two composers both born in the same year, 1912, until the joint centennial … [Read more...]