Imaginary Landscapes by John Cage

Topics: Electronic music, John Cage, Imaginary Landscape Pages: 3 (1118 words) Published: April 13, 2013
"Imaginary Landscapes" is a multimedia project, a homage to John Cage, one of the most influential artists, writers and thinkers of the 20th century, and the liberating power of his music and writings for future generations. Named after the early Cage cycle dedicated to landscapes of the present and future, this project reflects on the composer’s interest in occupying the entire sound field, from city landscapes and unpredictable traffic sounds, to natural landscapes, amplified water and plants, and futuristic sound images involving electronic media. It was recorded live at "Imaginary Landscapes", a festival of electronic music which took place at "The Kitchen" in New York City, from February 25th through March 6th in 1988. This record includes some of the composers only by excerpts from longer pieces. Despite this, the 70 minutes of the whole album show enough the wideness of electronic music's growing since John Cage's spinning records of test tones. The composers on this record are not only composers, but also inventors and performers as Cage was. Specifically, Ron Kuivila and Mark Trayle combine sounds created by the help of the computer system with sounds come from machines or objects that we find in our everyday life. For example, some beats of the computer are played consistently with the sound of the telephone when we wait for the person to answer the call. In addition, Shelley Hirsch and David Weinstein use human voice with electronic keyboards repeatedly adding pauses in specific durations, while Neil B. Rolnick approaches to Balkan folk music. In Gordon Monahan's work, performers swing loud speakers with Olympian fervour to explore the acoustic phenomenon of Doppler shift, and in Laetitia deCompiegne Sonami's composition takes role a narration of a woman about her husband and her child. In particular, the woman's voice is suddenly unclear and "cut into pieces" as the recorder starts to break down. Probably, that would want to mean or show that even the human...
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