4'33" August 29, 2019 at WAAM, featuring Perry Beekman and Lou Pappas on bass

An alphabetical press release about this year's (9th annual) anniversary performance of John Cage's 4'33": Thursday, August 29, 2019 at WAAM in Woodstock, N.Y., 6pm..

by N

- First off, so excited to have The Perry Beekman Duo featuring Lou Pappas on bass performing the concert this year. A huge shout out of gratitude to them for making the time this year to perform it!!

Also, a super duper big thanks to Kay Larson, who will speak after 4'33" and before Perry plays some pieces of his own choosing. Kay has spoken a couple of times before and is always entertaining and illuminating. She is currently working on her second book about John Cage.

- In around 2008, I was teaching a class at the Woodstock Day School entitled "Art That's Changed The Way I Look At The World Around Me." It was so much fun having so many artists and thoughtful individuals come and speak on that topic. David Van Tieghem was one of them. I knew he was going to perform 4'33". He performed it on the piano, just as David Tudor had so many years before. I knew of the piece but had never heard it performed and did not expect to be so deeply moved by it. Later that day, I started looking into this wonderful piece and discovered two things: one, that its world premier had been right here in Woodstock; and two, that there were no commemorations of this historic event by any Woodstock organizations!! A couple years later, I approached WAAM, who had produced the world premier concert of this piece in 1952, and asked if they'd like to host a concert and talk about this piece and they said yes. In 2011, slightly delayed by Hurricane Irene, Mimi Goese and Ben Neill performed and it was so beautiful that I thought that would be it. I would never produce another concert like this. My resolved didn't last:

  • 2011 - Mimi Goese and Ben Neill
  • 2012 - Vibraphonist extraordinaire Karl Berger
  • 2013 - Paul McMahon and Linda Mary Montano
  • 2014 - Baird Hersey and Prana
  • 2015 - The Clear Light Ensemble
  • 2016 - Tracy Bonham
  • 2017 - Jill Sobule
  • 2018 - David Van Tieghem

4'33" - Here's the piece, with a short introduction:

A - The Wikipedia entry on anechoic chambers.

B - Beekman, Perry. Set to perform on August 29, 2019 with Lou Pappas on bass. An amazing singer and guitarist and all-around Woodstock superstar and good guy, we're delighted and honored to have Perry performing this year's concert. You can learn more about Perry on his website, here: http://www.perrybeekman.com

B - Berger, Karl. Performed 4'33" at the 60th anniversary performance in 2012 at WAAM. Winner of 6, count 'em! 6 Downbeat Critics Awards for his performing, Karl Berger is an award-winning composer/arranger whose scores for film and tv have won broad critical acclaim. He has written and recorded over 200 compositions and arrangements for classical ensembles, jazz groups, songwriters and performers, big bands, symphony and crossover projects.  Read more about him at the bottom of this page or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Berger

- Bonham, Tracy. Performed 4'33" at WAAM in 2016. Multiple Grammy award nominee, Tracy Bonham is a classically trained violinist and pianist and a self-taught guitarist. She's a vocal powerhouse and an all-around great person and we're thrilled she's doing this show! For more info on this part-time Woodstock resident, visit her site: http://www.tracybonham.com

C - Cage. John Cage. See John Cage.

C - Clear Light Ensemble. This group beautifully performed 4'33" and some of their own pieces at the 2015 WAAM concert. They are a raga-based world jazz ensemble held together loosely by John Dubberstein. Additional personnel are as follows: David Rothenberg , clarinet; Craig Hazen, bass; Ami fixler, percussion. 

C - Creative Music Studio.  Founded by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman and Ingrid Sertso, John Cage was on the initial advisory council  Read more about it here: http://www.CreativeMusicStudio.org/

- Date and time and all that. Monday, August 29, 2016.  Woodstock Artists Association Museum. Right in the middle of Woodstock, NY. 6:00pm sharp. Should be done by 7:00  (see the second entry for "P" for more information.) WAAM is at 28 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-2940  Free admission.

- Dubberstein. John Dubberstein. Sitar player extraordinaire, golfer and glue for the Clear Light Ensemble, which performed this concert in 2015. (see above)

E - Everything. And nothing. See here.

G - Gann. Kyle Gann. Author of "No such thing as silence: John Cage's 4'33" "Spoke at this concert in 2011. https://www.amazon.com/No-Such-Thing-Silence-America/dp/0300171293

G - Goese. Mimi Goese. Performed the piece in 2011 with Ben Neill. Killed. Here's her Wikipedia page, and here's a little blurb about her from her cd release press release: Goese is known as the lead singer/co-songwriter of Hugo Largo, the critically acclaimed minimalist punk/pop group who released two albums on Brian Eno’s Opal label in the ’80s. After touring with musician/producer Hector Zazou and co-writing/singing on the Moby album Everything is Wrong, Goese’s solo album Soak was released by Luaka Bop, David Byrne’s label.

- Hersey. Baird Hersey. Performed with his group, Prana, in 2014. Read about this man's incredible musical career on his website here: http://bairdhersey.com/

- Ink.  A nice article in the Woodstock Times by Paul Smart on a previous year's performance of  4'33.

J - John Milton Cage, Jr., composer of 4'33". Wikipedia entry. Artsy.com page.

K - A really nice video about 4'33" with Kyle Gann:

K - Kay Larson.  See Larson, Kay.

L - Larson, Kay. from her HuffPo bio: An acclaimed art critic, columnist, and editor, Kay Larson began her career in journalism in Cambridge, Massachusetts at The Real Paper, then served as an associate editor at Artnews and an art critic for the Village Voice. She was the art critic for New York Magazine for 14 years, and has been a frequent contributor toThe New York Times. In 1994, she entered Zen practice at a Buddhist monastery in upstate New York. We are thrilled that she's agreed to speak at the concert yet again. Please scroll down to "W" to read about her new book on Cage or click here to read a wonderful recent article she wrote on Cage and Buddhism for the Huffington Post. Also, click here for an excerpt from her delightful biography about Cage, Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists. Her book can be bought across the street from WAAM at The Golden Notebook.

Jill Sobule and Kay Larson
L - A nice essay I found online by Larry J. Solomon about 4'33" can be read here.

M - Magnusson. Norm Magnusson. Producer of this annual concert. Impresarioartistadvertising curmudgeon, and founder of the art movement funism.

M - McMahon. Paul McMahon. American artist and musician. Woodstock luminary. 2013 marked his debut performing 4'33". More on Paul can be read and listened to here.

M - Montano. Linda Mary Montano is a pioneer in performance art. She accompanied Paul McMahon at 2013's performance.

N - Neill. Ben Neill. Ben teaches 4'33" in one of his classes at Ramapo College in NJ and performed this concert in 2011. He has performed a number of Cage's pieces and has worked with him directly. Here is Ben's wikipedia page and here is a short blurb about him from the press release for his new cd, a collaboration with his co-performer Mimi Goese:
Neill is a composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. He has recorded eight CDs of his music on labels including Universal/Verve, Thirsty Ear, Astralwerks and Six Degrees. His most recent CD Night Science was released in 2009 on Thirsty Ear.

P - PRANA. This wonderful group performed at 2014's concert. Special thanks to Bruce Milner for the introduction and Baird Hersey for the organization. PRANA are: Amy Fradon, Soprano; Kirsti Gholson, Alto; Baird Hersey, Tenor; Timothy Hill, Bariton; and Bruce Milner, Bass. Read more about this remarkable group on its website here: http://www.pranasound.com/

P - Program from the first performance of 4'33", which took place in Woodstock, NY, on August 29, 1952, presented by the Woodstock Artist's Association and benefitting their "Artist's Welfare Fund".

- The program for this year's performance: (to be updated soon)

R - Rauschenberg. Robert Rauschenberg, whose "White Painting (Three Panel)" (from the collection of SFMoMA) was a major influence on Cage's decision to compose 4'33" and perhaps on his decision to give his piece 3 movements.

- Rothenberg. David Rothenberg, played this concert in 2015 with the Clear Light Ensemble; he has performed and recorded on clarinet with Pauline Oliveros, Peter Gabriel, and many others.  He has sixteen CDs out under his own name, including "On the Cliffs of the Heart," named one of the top ten releases of 1995 by Jazziz magazine and is the author of Why Birds Sing, book and CD, published in seven languages and the subject of a BBC television documentary.  He is also the author of numerous other books on music, art, and nature, including Thousand Mile Song, about making music with whales, and Survival of the Beautiful, about aesthetics in evolution.  His book and CD Bug Music, featuring the sounds of the entomological world, has been featured on PBS News Hour and in the New Yorker.  His latest recordings are Cicada Dream Band and Berlin Bülbül.  Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. More information can be found on his website: www.davidrothenberg.net

S - Silence. A short video by Maestro Cage on this topic.

S - Sobule. Jill Sobule. American singer-songwriter best known for the 1995 single "I Kissed a Girl", and "Supermodel" from the soundtrack of the 1995 film Clueless. Her folk-inflected compositions alternate between ironic, story-driven character studies and emotive ballads, a duality reminiscent of such 1970s American songwriters as Warren Zevon, Harry Nilsson, Loudon Wainwright III, Harry Chapin, and Randy Newman. Autobiographical elements, including Sobule's Jewish heritage and her adolescent battles with anorexia and depression, frequently occur in Sobule's writing. An appreciable percentage of her work is also dedicated to detailed accounts of both her own fictional female creations and such troubled but celebrated women as Joey Heatherton and Mary Kay Letourneau, whose stories are usually used to make ironic comments about fame and celebrity.
In 2009, she released an album funded entirely by fan donations, one of the early pioneers of crowdfunding. More on her can be seen on Wikipedia or on her own website: https://www.jillsobule.com/
Jill Sobule and Sparrow post performance.
TTacet. Say no more.

V- VanTieghen. David VanTieghem, musician and composer and the first guy I ever saw perform 4'33" We owe this all to him. Visit his website here: http://www.vantieghem.com/

V- VanTieghen. David VanTieghem. Performed on August 29, 2018.  All-around nice guy and friend, I first saw him on a short-lived tv show hosted by Laurie Anderson in the mid-80's called "Alive from Off-Center", where he performed this remarkable piece: "Ear to the Ground", unlocking the sonic potential of the objects in the world around him. Wikipedia references it in its entry on him, which begins: "an American composer, musician, percussionist, drummer, keyboard player, performance artist, video artist and actor, notorious for his philosophy of utilizing any available object as a percussion instrument and his collaborations with the experimental rock artists Laurie AndersonBrian Eno and David Byrne." To read more, visit his Wikipedia page here. I am beyond thrilled that he will be performing again this year.

V - A very informative smattering of reviews for Kyle Gann's book on 4'33" There's no such thing as silence.

W - The Woodstock Artist's Association. You can find out more about this fine organization on their website,http://www.woodstockart.org/