Iain Cameron's Diary
"Click here to access the Fruitful Album" - Click here to visit Music for the Highveld Project
2011-06-29 - 9:33 p.m.
I was early for my lunch date in Pall Mall so I went down the Wellington Steps for a quick browse in the ICA bookshop, The lunch discussion went on until 4.45pm and was good fun. Aware that I was risking rush hour travel on a hot day on the tube I quickly slipped into the ICA again to buy Kyle Gann's history of Cage's silent piece and headed off to the Embankment tube - the first train wasn't too hot and it took me no time at all to read through the last two chs of KG. I changed at Hammersmith onto the Picadilly line and that was really a hot house. KG judges that Cage's original intention with the silent piece - that the audience listens to environmental sound - has been achieved and understood by a very wide range of people - not just modern music fans. He quotes a very wide range of instances to support this. No other experimental music piece has achieved similar success.
KG goes into the evolution of Cage's compositional approach before he devised the SP - in particular the so-called gamut technique. 16 Dances is one of the early gamut pieces - I bought a CD of this during my first full day in the US in Washington DC - this reminds me of Webern. I also have Music for Changes which is contempraneous with SP but much harder work. KG sees part of the legacy of SP being the introduction of process into composition - a theme which was picked up by the early minimalists. Lots of fun ahead I think.