KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Ode To Gravity: John Cage (Special Edition, III of IV), 2 of 2

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Ode To Gravity
Program Length
116 min
2 of 2
1987-12-12 | broadcast
| 402 | created
Charles Amirkhanian produced this special edition of his Ode To Gravity program for nationwide audiences over the NPR satellite. Amirkhanian plays a number of Cage’s compositions, including “Credo in Us” and “Roanji” as well as Cage reading from his Diary. Amirkhanian gives background on Cage, including the influence of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg and Buddhism on his music, leading into a summary of Cage's style. Cage discusses how he met filmmaker Oskar Fischinger through Galka Shire around 1935, which led him to composing music for percussion instruments. Cage relates this music to silence and Zen Buddhism, moving away from the usual motivation of "music as communication" towards "music as a means of sobering and quieting the mind, thus subjecting it to divine influences." Cage also discusses his "Credo in Us", composed in 1942 in New York City for a dance choreographed by Merce Cunningham and Jean Erdman. Much of this material was gathered from two interviews with Cage, one in 1983 during preparation for the San Francisco Symphony's "all-Cage" evening, and the other from 1987 at the Exploratorium in San Francisco as part of the Speaking of Music series.
New music
Musical Selections
Experiences No. 2 (1945-1948) [text from "Tulips and Chimneys" by e.e. cummings ] (4:43) -- Lecture: EurOperas I & II [excerpt from the libretto read by Cage] (3:30) -- Diary: How to Improve the World (You will only make matters worse) [excerpt] (28:20)
Robert Wyatt (Experiences No. 2 )
New music
Songs, Unaccompanied
Cut-ups (Literary form)
Aleatory music