Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mode celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2004 with the release of a major film on John Cage by renowned Dutch director Frank Scheffer in collaboration with Cage's long-time associate Andrew Culver. The group of films, entitled From Zero, are:
19 QUESTIONS: Cage answers 19 questions on a variety of subjects, using chance operations to determine the duration of his colorful and often witty answers. A unique opportunity to view the Cagean process of chance in real-time.
FOURTEEN: The acclaimed Ives Ensemble perform Cage's piece of the same name. Filmed with multiple cameras using chance operations to determine the position, angle, focus and aperture settings of each shot-as well as to determine the editing
process-make this a uniquely remarkable performance film. The extraordinary lighting was created by Andrew Culver, who did similar chance derived lighting plans for Cage's Europeras.
PAYING ATTENTION: Agreeing on a predetermined duration, Scheffer worked with the video portion and Culver the audio from an interview with Cage. They treated their parts independently; the video and audio were then reunited during the editing in the same spirit as John Cage/Merce Cunningham music and dance collaborations - where the two aspects are presented together for the first time in the performance.
OVERPOPULATION AND ART WITH RYOANJI: The audio combines Cage's spoken performance of his text Overpopulation and Art simultaneously with his Ryoanji for four voices and percussion. The video was shot at two locations where Cage lived: 6th Avenue in Manhattan and at Stony Point, New York. Scheffer used the graphic score of Ryoanji to track the camera's movements for much of this work.
THE MAKING OF "FOURTEEN": features Andrew Culver and the director of the Ives Ensemble talking about the visual and musical aspects of the film and piece along with footage of the setup and the actual filming of the piece.
ANDREW CULVER on working with Cage, Scheffer and the principles behind the creation of each of the films.
FRANK SCHEFFER speaks about his influences by and experiences with Cage, Culver and the principles behind the creation of each of the films.
Director Frank Scheffer has received numerous awards in Europe and the U.S. and was honored with a retrospective of his films at the 2002 Holland Festival. His unique focus on composers of the 20th century range from Mahler and Schoenberg to Boulez and Carter, to Zappa and Eno. From Zero marks the beginning of Mode's series of releasing Scheffer's films on DVD for the first time.
Works on This Recording
Fourteen by John Cage
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1990; USA
Ryoanji by John Cage
John Cage (Speaker),
Isabelle Ganz (Soprano),
Michael Pugliese (Percussion)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1983-1985; USA
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