Post-Indeterminancy: Musicircus

On June 4th, 2011 Alotro and Erlena attended an opening of new Brooklyn home of Roulette, where John Cage’s Musicircus was presented. Erlena and Alotro

To prepare for appropriate perception of the show, the performance directions were meticulously studied. They stated: “[Musicircus] should last longer than ordinary concerts, starting at 7 or 8 in the evening, and continuing, say, to midnight” and “…there should at all times be many people performing simultaneously.” The act started at 1 pm and finished at 6 pm.  There were as many musicians and groups as the space could fit, allowing audience to walk around freely. All kinds of noises were coming from every corner, including a marching band in front of the building. Some sounds were more attractive than the others. Buckminster’s meditative saxophones and trumpet were enthralling with mystic repetition and blue shadow crawling on the background. Margaret Leng Tan played on two toy pianos, gathering the largest audience. As she moved to a grand for a tango, she held a rose in her teeth to create an appropriate character. When Antony Coleman occupied the piano in the main hall, Erlena hid underneath it to mute the surrounding sounds.  In this way it was possible to focus attention on one thing at a time, as Cage instructed. “Music is the function of distance between the perceiver and the source,” – said Alotro.  At the end of the day their perception of music and self extended.

Indeterminancy is a collection of stories about contemporary music, artists and their audience which John Cage delivered as presentations and lectures in Brussels and at Columbia University.

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