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John Cage - Journeys In Sound

Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Accentus   Catalog #: ACC20246  
Composer:  John Cage
Performer:  David TudorSteffen Schleiermacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Percussion Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available on Blu-ray

This documentary by Oscar-winner Allan Miller and Emmy-winner Paul Smaczny pays tribute to the most fascinating American avant-garde composer John Cage. Shot in America, Germany and Japan, the program premieres rare archival footage; presenting concert excerpts and a set of short episodes, featuring associates of Cage and contemporary artists, playfully delineating different aspects of John Cage. The documentary features interviews with Yoko Ono, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, Steffen Schleiermacher, Irvine Arditti, Toshio Hosokawa, Mayumi Miyata, Calvin Tomkins and many others. “John Cage – Journeys in Sound“ will delight and enthral both Cage novices as
Read more well as die-hard fans.

A film by Allan Miller and Paul Smaczny

William Anastasi
Irvine Arditti
Dove Bradshaw
Merce Cunningham
Julia Henning
Toshio Hosokawa
John Lennon
Mayumi Miyata
Yoko Ono
Wolfgang Rihm
Steffen Schleiermacher
Calvin Tomkins
David Tudor
Christian Wolff
Ensemble Modern
Schlagquartett Köln
and others

- 4’33’ (David Tudor, including interview)
- Second Construction (Schlagquartett Köln)
- Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano: Sonata I (Steffen Schleiermacher)
- Water Music (Steffen Schleiermacher)
- Interview with John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: German, English, French, Japanese, Korean
Running time: 61 mins (documentary) + 49 mins (bonus)
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W:

"Journeys In Sound is two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alan Miller’s second documentary about John Cage. The first, I have nothing to say and I am saying it, was presented in PBS’s American Masters series in 1990, two years before Cage died; this one appears 20 years after his passing, as an attempt to update Cage’s reputation and examine his influence today. To do so, Miller combines historical footage of Cage gathering mushrooms and working on a “chance-derived film” with new interviews of friends and associates like Christian Wolff, Yoko Ono, violinist Irvine Arditti, and visual artist William Anastasi. We are also shown pianist Steffen Schleiermacher, who has recorded more than 20 CDs of Cage’s music, the Köln Percussion Group, vocalist Julia Henning, and Mayumi Miyata on the sh?, preparing and/or performing various pieces. Though not intended as a thorough introduction to Cage’s music and philosophies, enough information comes through to explain to newcomers how Cage worked to “evict self-expression” from his music, thus “giving permission” to subsequent artists in all fields to experiment with new techniques and concepts of communication, in order to achieve “more and more access to the enjoyment of life.” (The preceding quotes were taken from different sources.) We also learn that despite Cage’s still-controversial place among 20th-century composers, he is “by far the best seller and brings in the most income among American composers” for the publisher of his scores, the prestigious Peters Edition.

The most entertaining aspect of the film is its visual details: the opening excerpt of Cage’s 1950s appearance on the television show I’ve Got a Secret performing his Water Walk; scenes of Schleiermacher in a hardware store purchasing the screws, bolts, and other materials to prepare the piano; Christian Wolff’s red nose as he stands outdoors in winter talking about the isolation Cage sought in Stony Brook, in upstate New York; the delight in Cage’s face as he talks to Yoko and John Lennon; the medieval stone church in Germany, empty except for the organ that is continuously droning a version of Cage’s ASLSP; a red fire truck, number 5, driving down a New York City street in the rain (a Cagean chance-derived homage to the William Carlos Williams poem “The Great Figure”?); even the inevitable shots of the Rioanji stone garden and a game of chess. Most importantly, in the bonus material added to the documentary proper, there is a remarkable performance and discussion of Cage’s 4’33” by David Tudor. The tone and rhythmic phrasing of Tudor’s speaking voice here is chillingly reminiscent of Cage’s own voice, and his explanation of why he uses a score while performing a piece without notes is especially revealing and relevant to the conscientiousness Cage’s often misunderstood music requires."

FANFARE: Art Lange
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Works on This Recording

4' 33" for any Instrument(s) by John Cage
Performer:  David Tudor (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Second Construction for 4 Percussionists by John Cage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Percussion Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano: Sonata no 1 by John Cage
Performer:  Steffen Schleiermacher (Prepared Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946-1948; USA 
Water Music by John Cage
Performer:  Steffen Schleiermacher (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 

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