JOHN CAGE TRIBUTE: Martha Mooke

Martha Mooke on John Cage: I had the privilege of sharing wonderful conversations and homemade macrobiotic oatmeal cookies with John Cage.

Taking Chances (1995) for John Cage - score Taking Chances (1995) recording from WNYC's New Sounds Live hosted by John Shaefer Biography

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I had the privilege of sharing wonderful conversations and homemade macrobiotic oatmeal cookies with John Cage. He always had a captivating story to tell, or perhaps it was his captivating way of telling a story. We were guests at a dinner party and he had brought a freshly baked batch of macrobiotic oatmeal cookies. He was quite pleased with them. On another occasion, we were at a concert and after John offered me a Fisherman’s Friend extra strong mint, we offered to drive him and Merce back downtown. John was giving directions from the back seat and I had to chuckle when he said quietly, “just keep going, as if nothing ever happened”.


I composed “Taking Chances” for five-string electric octave violin in his honor. It contains ten segments (Zen, Mushrooms, MB Oatmeal Cookies, 4’33”, Chance, Aria, Merce, Blue Jeans, I Ching and Smiling) – words or ideas I associate with John Cage. The piece can be performed in any order, or simultaneously (with the help of a looping device) and the perception of SILENCE is integral. It was premiered and introduced by host John Schaefer, on WNYC’s New Sounds Live at the Tishman Auditorium of the New School, NYC, March 9, 1995.


Taking Chances (1995) for John Cage for five-string electric octave violin



LISTEN HERE: Taking Chances premiered March 9, 1995 on WNYC’s New Sounds Live, hosted by John Schaefer, at the Tishman Auditorium of the New School, NYC



Biography

Martha Mooke, composer/electro-acoustic violist, a pioneer in the field of electric five string viola, transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical music training with extended techniques, digital effects processing and improvisation. She is a Yamaha Artist and leading clinician on electric and alternative approaches to string playing. Mooke is founder and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet which has performed and recorded with artists such as David Bowie, Philip Glass, Trey Anastasio, Iggy Pop as well as championing new works. Mooke has toured internationally with Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli and “Star Wars in Concert”.


Mooke’s genre-defying recordings, Enharmonic Vision and Bowing's Café Mars (duo with electric guitarist Randolph Hudson) have attracted wide critical acclaim. Her catalog includes works for electric and acoustic instruments, film, theater, dance and multimedia productions.

Her catalog includes works for electric and acoustic instruments, film, theater, dance and multimedia productions. She has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer and Arts International.


Mooke was honored with an ASCAP Concert Music Award for conceiving and producing the new music showcase THRU THE WALLS featuring ASCAP composer/performers whose work defies categorization.


For more information, to listen, fan, follow and tweet:

MarthaMooke.com youtube.com/powervla twitter.com/elecviola

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