John Cage Online Happening Marks The Artist Composer's 102 Birthday
As a tribute to the celebrated American composer John Cage (1912-1992), on what would have been his 102nd birthday on Friday 5 September 2014, Aldeburgh Music and The Space are inviting everyone to mix their own John Cage happening for the first time online. The work can be accessed from Friday 5 September onwards on: www.thespace.org/musicircus.
In the 1960s Cage began organising happenings under the title ‘Musicircus’, where as many musicians, speakers and dancers as he could gather would give different performances simultaneously and in close proximity. Audience members would wander around the space to create their own unique concert experiences, with their ears gradually making sense out of the apparent chaos and with the bleed between performances creating a spectacular range of sounds. In the words of Cage, “you won’t hear a thing. You’ll hear EVERYTHING.”
Inspired by and expanding the Musicircus idea, the largest gathering of musicians in Aldeburgh’s history came together for two hours on 22 June 2014 as the centrepiece of the 67th Aldeburgh Festival. Approximately 1,000 performers took part from the Festival’s artistic director Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Thomas Adès and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, to Suffolk folk bands, school choirs and a bellydance troupe, turning the town into a resounding mass of sound.
The online experience, developed by Avco, encompasses recordings from the Aldeburgh performance. It enables everyone to create their own Musicircus experience digitally, working with variable levels of chaos and control. There are more than 40 performances to choose from.
The work can be experienced on desktop, mobile or tablet.