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John Cage's influence on Sound and Visual Artists

Click the names below for stories and sound and visual art inspired by John Cage The collection will continue to expand throughout 2012.

. FRIENDS AND COLLABORATORS William Anastasi (USA) In the early 80s, at a festival of new music in Venice, I attended numerous concerts with John, sometimes several in a single day. Selected works Dove Bradshaw (USA) “I hope you don’t mind, I feel Dove is the daughter I never had,” John Cage said to my Mother. Artworks from exhibition at Thomas Rehbein Gallery, Cologne, 2011; John Cage on Dove Bradshaw Joel Chadabe (USA) In 1937, in a talk titled The Future of Music: Credo, he said, "I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard ..." 100 x John, 2011 - ongoing

Emanuel Pimenta (Brazil/Portugal/Switzerland) In 1988, I was with John Cage at his loft in New York City. I'd started collaborating with him and Merce two years before. Loft, 1988; Kairos, 2011; John Cage Stones, 2011

Tom Shannon (US) Three artists I know well, Tom Kovachevich and Jackie Matisse and Molly Davies share an inventive sensibility I like and they share much with John Cage including his friendship.

Elliot Sharp (US) I first met John Cage at the “June in Buffalo” seminar in 1975 where he was one of the guest artists along with Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, and Steve Reich, each there for a few days of lectures and performances of their works. On Corlear's Hook 2007 (recording and score); Scores: Occam's Razor 2011 and Oneirika 2012

Allegra Fuller Snyder (USA) I will be informal and personal in what I have to say. It is my recollections of John and Bucky and where possible them together--their quality of interchange – It is dedicated to their laughter.

Bernadette Speach (USA) In exchange for keeping [my] toy piano in his apartment, he agreed to be my dissertation reader. Through the following years he became my mentor and friend. Chosen Voices, 1991


Theresa Sauer (USA), author of Notations 21 (2009) - international composers exploring experimental notation, inspired by John Cage's Notations (1969)

SOUND AND VISUAL ARTISTS ADACHI Tomomi (Japan) John Cage's music opened a door for a new world. Fontana (YouTube) Mix (2012), Chinese Characters for Instrument, Self-made instruments, Concerts in Tokyo

Steve Antosca (US) In 1982, I composed the work for two for any two instruments. At that time, I did not fully comprehend the influence John Cage’s work had on my thinking about composition. One becomes Two (score); for two (score and music); Traces of Spirit Whispers 1. circulation of the light (score); Traces of Spirit Whispers vii. empty infinity, boundless country (score); Traces of Spirit Whispers vii. empty infinity, boundless country (music). Steve Antosca is Co-director of the The John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC, taking place September 4 - 12, 2012.

Kyong Mee Choi (Korea) John Cage's interest in music and art influenced my multidisciplinary approach to the creative process. Gestural Trajectory for 2 pianos and percussion, 2005, score and recording

Phil Dadson (New Zealand) In 1969, I think it was, I witnessed an exciting and memorable performance of Eclipticalis by Cage and Tudor at the Roundhouse in London. Between Worlds, 2011

Lesley Flanigan (USA) John Cage did a marvelous job articulating the values of what I believe are the inherent instincts of anyone who truly loves sound…in particular, the belief that any sound can be musical. Sound artworks and performances

Richard Garet (USA) John Cage said after he entered an anechoic chamber which is designed to attenuate sound, that he heard only two sounds. One sound was high and the other low... Sonochrome, 2009

Loris Gréaud (France) I remember I once had this idea of setting up an “unlearning workshop”: it requires a lot of work to unlearn, but this an important step to go through.

Martha Mooke (USA) I had the privilege of sharing wonderful conversations and homemade macrobiotic oatmeal cookies with John Cage. Taking Chances, 1995, for John Cage

Marcin Ramocki (Poland/USA) Some time in 1995 I found Cage’s graphic notations, maybe from “Experiments in Chance Operations” at Dartmouth’s Sherman Library. Torcito Project, 2005, Virtual Singer, 2003

Marina Rosenfeld (USA) As a composer coming up, I took up the challenge of finding an oppositional position with the regard to Cage precisely because the position of the work itself was so foundational--essential, itself oppositional, but also total in some ways, seamless and blanket-like in its ability to answer for all phenomena.

Phillip Stearns (USA) ...the connection is there in my approach to creating experiences which demand that you see without looking, hear without listening, sit without sitting. A custom audio-video synthesizer, 2010; Prochiptunes, 2010; Apeiron l Peras IX, 2010; Fruiting Bodies of High-Voltage Transmission Lines, 2010

Marty St. James (UK) Cage's ideas are so important: prepared instruments, the indeterminate and silence. As an art student in the seventies this was still considered ‘way out’ stuff. As a ‘graduating’ performance artist he had an underpinning type of magical encyclopedic influence on me, which was invaluable. Videos: Upside Down World, 2009, Antarctica Silence, 2010, The Invisible Man, 2007; photograph: Petasus I, 2006; drawing: Two Thinking Actions, 2006; video still: Adagio No.8, 2011

Susana Sulic (Argentina) The notion of silent and oriental meaning ... has its roots in my practice not only in the mythical image of John Cage but also with my personal history and friendship with the Fluxus artists who influenced also my poetry, art concepts and performance. Physical Sound, 1993-2012, The Silent Voice I, II, III, 1993 - 2011

Dante Tanzi (Italy) I think that John Cage showed us how to re-create relationships among differences, event the extreme ones concerning the nature of musical communication and the nature of everyday life. Into Another Space, 2009 (recording)

Robert Scott Thompson (USA) Sitting on the hillock behind Mandeville Center at the University of California San Diego in the spring of 1986 (during the Pacific Ring Festival), John and I chatted about the changeable, the fluidic, and the ephemeral, as we gazed at the clouds shifting serenely over the La Jolla bluffs and the blue Pacific. Folio 1 IMAGINAL for JC in 433 (2011) mp3; Three for JC (2008) mp3; Actions for One (graphic score); Filigree and Shadow (score) Stephen Vitiello (USA) My initial introduction to the work of John Cage came through knowing and working for Nam June Paik. Study for Graphic Score; Odyssey Guitar Solo (Without the Guitar), 2001; Three field recordings (gate, birds, beetles)from a project at the Salina Art Center, Salina, KS, 2012

Monika Weiss (Poland/USA) My trust in the phenomenon of contingency and silence is largely owed to John Cage. Phaos, 2010; Sostenuto, 2012; Sustenazo (Lament II) Part Two, 2010; Sustenazo (Lament II) Part Three, 2010


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