John Cage Remixed
In his Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48), the American, experimental composer John Cage transformed the sound of the piano by meticulously placing objects within and between the instrument’s strings. Cage’s music for prepared piano foregrounds the instrument’s percussiveness; fragments of melody resonate on ‘unprepared’ notes, while clusters of tones, pitched and half-pitched, are rhythmically repeated.
For John Cage Remixed, Classical Remix has worked with musician and artist Mira Calix to create a new digital-instrument that re-voices Cage’s music. Calix’s electronic samples respond to the percussiveness of Cage’s sounds, extending the scope of the Sonatas using her own, idiomatic sound-world, and making connections between Cage’s music and contemporary, electronic genres. Where Cage initially turned to prepared piano as a pragmatic means of creating music to accompany dance, Calix has also brought this sense of the body into the work, transcribing and reciting recordings of Cage’s life-partner, Merce Cunningham, leading dance rehearsals.
John Cage Remixed is performed by the pianist Siwan Rhys. It is the second in Classical Remix’s series of digital, EP releases.