• Grammy Nomination for Best Chamber Performance 2013 •
This recording was inspired by the discovery of a long lost 1962 recording of John Cage reading his 45’ for a Speaker, and the recent technical ability to present his five compositions that make "The Ten Thousand Things" [45' for a speaker, 26'1.1149" for a string player, 27’10.55” for percussionist, 31’57.9864” for prepared piano & 34’46.776” for prepared piano] in every conceivable combination, resulting in an infinitude of variations, as per the composer’s wishes.
While the CD presents just one of an infinite number of possible realizations of the simultaneous performance of all five pieces, the special USB 'I Ching Edition' enables the performance of any one of the (5) solo works alone; or if one chooses, any combination, also making possible (10) duos, (10) trios, (5) quartets, and (1) quintet. And each performance itself is recombinant, that is, the 28 sections of each composition are rearranged such that they are played back in a different order, while the spaces between the sections are also altered. That makes (31) completely different compositions, over 25 hours of glorious 24bit/96Khz High Resolution sound: only the solo works retain their original form - all else changes, creating an infinite kaleidoscope of musical invention where nothing is the same twice.
In September 2012, as part of Jacaranda Music’s "Cage 100 Festival", these performers (with the producer taking Cage’s part) premiered The Ten Thousand Things at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club where Cage gave his first public performance in 1932:
“Pianists Vicki Ray and (Aron) Kallay, bassist Tom Peters, percussionist William Winant and reciter John Schneider were exquisite. Every sound sounded considered, alive, worthy of our wonder.” Mark Swed, L.A. Times
This recording was made soon after.
"Even though John Cage was notoriously averse to recordings, he would nevertheless have loved this. He would have found it, as I do, a marvelous realization of what he was aiming at fifty years ago. An interactive computerized version of The ten thousand things is the fulfillment of a dream he didn’t even know he had." James Pritchett, Music of John Cage (Cambridge U. Press)
(USB edition for Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher, PC Windows available upon request)