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CAGE A JOHN CAGE MUSICIRCUS. Music 1945-today POST- MODERNISM.

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Presentation on theme: "CAGE A JOHN CAGE MUSICIRCUS. Music 1945-today POST- MODERNISM."— Presentation transcript:

1 CAGE A JOHN CAGE MUSICIRCUS

2 Music 1945-today POST- MODERNISM

3 Music 1945-today EXPERIMENTATION COMPLEXITY REACTIONS TO THAT COMPLEXITY: OPEN FORMS, CHANCE METHODS, NEW SIMPLICITY and... MINIMALISM SOME IGNORE IT ALL & CONTINUE IN A MORE-OR-LESS ROMANTIC LANGUAGE

4 Serialism continues, becomes “total serialism,” and totally (not really) takes over academic music in America serial laires sleari ialser iraels reslai israel serlai learsi erials alseri airesl rialse aelrsi srliea

5 2 modernist attitudes about popular culture: it’s evil (Adorno, theorist/cultural critic/composer, follower of Schoenberg it’s interesting (Stravinsky & others use ideas imitating jazz & swing in their music)

6 CAGE -- invented prepared piano (1935). The classic American crazy tinkerer -- "My father was an inventor." EXPERIMENTATION a key value in 20 th Century music. -- the unpredictability of the prepared piano and his study of Zen and Indian aesthetics lead him to develop chance (random) procedures as a compositional method or process

7 CAGE listening example John Cage ( ), Sonata II from Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (19 pieces composed ) -- influenced by gamelan and other non-Western music

8 CAGE -- viewed by some as a charlatan or as important only because of his philosophy -- many value his music and thought today (although many misinterpret his disciplined openness as a philosophy of "anything goes") -- eventually came to be viewed as Post-Modernist because of his relinquishing of compositional control

9 ELECTRONIC MUSIC TAPE, ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS & EFFECTS; COMPUTER CONTOLLED SYNTHS, DIGITAL SYNTHESIS FOLLOW Ex. – KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN, Gesang der Junglinge, 1956 (textbook p. 430) Kontakte, piano, percussion, 4-channel tape

10 KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN b given an electronic music studio in 1953

11 KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN b given an electronic music studio in 1953

12 KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN

13 POST-MODERN MUSIC DELIGHTS IN IMPURITY, MIXING “HIGH & LOW” CULTURE WE NOW HAVE RANDOM ACCESS TO ALL OF HISTORY & ALL OF THE WORLD QUESTIONS MODERNIST “PROGRESS” NARRATIVE QUESTIONS THE IDEA OF THE AUTONOMOUS ARTWORK If modernism asks why, post-modernism asks “WHY NOT?”

14 BERIO – Sinfonia RD mvt. of 5 collage of musical quotations layered on top of Mahler Beckett text overall work concerned with myth & meaning

15 MINIMALISM Music gets its groove back influenced by Indian music, tape music, improvisation initial audience in art galleries, NOT in concert halls, conservatories or academic settings Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Steve Reich a “downtown” music

16 Formed his own ensemble to play pieces like Drumming and Music for 18 Musicians STEVE REICH Preferred the term “process music”

17 POSTMINIMALISM A music for those who found minimalism to be too confining and... repetitive

18 JOHN ADAMS (not to be confused with John LUTHER Adams, also a good composer) traditional training, minimalist roots embraces a huge amount of styles master of orchestration

19 JOHN ADAMS LISTENING EXAMPLE NIXON IN CHINA an opera about... Nixon in China CD EXAMPLE The Chairman Dances

20 JOHN ADAMS After its 1987 premiere in Houston and follow-up stagings in Amsterdam, Washington, and Brooklyn, this great American opera came dangerously close to dropping out of sight. In 1996 I wrote a piece for the Times complaining about the total lack of productions. In the last few years, it has had a resurgence; the Chicago show is a co-production with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Portland Opera, and the Minnesota Opera, all of whom have had success with the work (a Houston Grand Opera version is upcoming). Next month comes a revival of Peter Sellars's original staging at the ENO in London, with James Maddalena again in the lead. Yet the stubborn fact remains: Nixon has never been staged by New York's two big opera companies.ENO Alex Ross

21 TOTALISM re-introduces rhythmic complexity, noise, grunge, rock, while keeping the minimalist groove Michael Gordon, Bang-on-a-Can festival seeking to bring uptown & downtown music (and audiences) together Ex.: TRANCE

22 POST-ISM-ISM? IS THE CONCEPT OF OBSELECENCE OBSELETE? A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE! Downside: great artistic freedom, little consequence; been there done that

23 LOOKING BACK ORDER & CHAOS SURFACE CHAOS/INNER ORDER: Rite of Spring; serialism SURFACE ORDER/INNER ORDER: minimalism (Reich, Music for 18) SURFACE CHAOS/INNER CHAOS: chance methods (John Cage)

24 My own stuff Apollo 14, A Space Opera eclectic post- minimalist groove

25 My own stuff Black Cat 12-tone! (serial) Commissioned by Skyline

26 My psyche MODERNIST Super-ego: MAKE IT NEW! (or at least rigorous) POST-MODERN EGO: Have fun! NEO-ROMANTIC ID: indulge in the past

27 Neo-Romanticism BACKWATER OR MAINSTREAM? SAMUEL BARBER Adagio for Strings, 1936


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