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John Cage Vinyl, CD & tapes by John Cage at Norman Records

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John Cage
Early Electronic & Tape Music

Sub Rosa continue with the vitally important task of keeping a wide range of John Cage’s extensive works available. Here we have a collection of some of his earlier works with electronic mediums, as newly realised by Langham Research Centre. Quite a good approach I’d say, as the open-ended, indeterminate nature of some of these pieces means that every realisation is different!

John Cage Assisted by David Tudor
Variations IV Volume II

Pioneer of avant-garde composition John Cage was loved (and hated) for his constant pushing of musical boundaries. His Variations series was at the height of his abstract experimentalism, with the performances based on loose a graphical score from which the players could interpret what they wanted whilst being free to play anything they wanted and even doing other things. First vinyl pressing since 1969 from Modern Harmonic.

John Cage with David Tudor
Variations IV

Modern Harmonic present an incredible recording of a performance of one of John Cage’s Variations pieces, put together with the intense involvement of the phenomenal David Tudor. The Variations IV gives a lot of freedom to the performers, and they really embraced that freedom: this is a riotous whirl of sound, with the perfect balance of random chance and crafty electronic focus. Pressed to lovely clear vinyl.

Reinhold Friedl
John Cage: Complete Song Books

Zeitkratzer head honcho Reinhold Friedl takes on John Cage’s 92-part work Song Books, a bizarro set of songs, instructions, Fluxus-esque performance ideas and much more besides. Friedl approaches the pieces with a serious non-seriousness, his wide array of sounds augmented by Rashad Becker’s electronics and ‘feedback cabinet’. Double LP on Karlrecords.

John Cage, David Tudor & Christian Wolff
San Francisco Museum Of Art, January 16th, 1965

3 towering talents of 20th Century experimental music treated the people of San Francisco to a remarkable concert in January 1965, held on David Tudor’s birthday. Christian Wolff’s open piece ‘for 1, 2, or 3 people’ shares an LP with a Cage / Tudor piece for amplified cymbal, while the second disc is filled with the electroacoustic excitement of John Cage’s ‘Variations IV’. An amazing document, released by Modern Silence.

John Cage
25 Year Retrospective Concert, NYC 15th May 1958

The 25 Year Retrospective Concert, NYC 15th May 1958 provides a celebratory survey of John Cage’s earliest compositional years. The evening included his seminal prepared piano work ‘Sonatas and Interludes’, pioneering tape cut-up work ‘Williams Mix’, pieces for carillon bells, metal, orchestra… Quite the feast! And when you bear in mind he had more than 30 years of music left in him, the man seems extra impressive… Double vinyl with booklet on Modern Silence, 500 copies only.

John Cage
The 25-Year Retrospective Concert Of The Music Of John Cage - Recorded in performance at Town Hall, New York, May 15, 1958

An excellent overview of early John Cage, as performed live at a seminal concert at New York’s Town Hall, 1958. Includes works for percussion, some of the beautiful Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, and the premiere of electronic tape piece Williams Mix. Seriously important, and seriously good fun to hear too! Double LP on Doxy.

John Cage
Song Books

John Cage’s Song Books is comprised of 90 individual solo vocal pieces, all of which are present on this new recording. But how are a full 90 pieces (totalling over six hours worth of music) fit onto 2 CDs? Why through a very Cageian trick of course: some of the tracks overlay multiple pieces on top of each other.

John Cage
Fontana Mix

EL Records admirably releases this collection of early John Cage pieces. Fontana Mix, for which the disc is titled, is an example of Cage’s indeterminate compositions, whereas ‘First Construction In Metal’, ‘Music For Carillon No.1’ and ‘The City Wears A Slouch Hat’ all utilise percussion, more prominently than Cage’s later work. And ‘Williams Mix’ is a maelstrom of over 600 tape edits!

John Cage
Shock Vol. 1

The John Cage Shock series documents a 1962 tour of Japan that Cage embarked upon with his hardy long-term collaborator David Tudor. This first disc features Tudor playing his original instrument, the piano, on pieces by Cage, Wolff, and Takemitsu, as well as the abrasive experimental electronics he would go on to do so much with (Cage’s ‘Variations II’).

John Cage
Shock Vol. 2

The second volume of the John Cage Shock series, which documents a historically significant tour of Japan that Cage embarked upon with the wonderful David Tudor in 1962. The duo collaborate with Japanese musicians including Toshi Ichiyanagi and Yoko Ono, and we also get to hear piano virtuoso Tudor performing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‘Klavierstuck X’.

John Cage
Shock Vol. 3

The John Cage Shock series documents a tour of Japan that Cage made with his closest collaborator David Tudor in 1962. This third and final volume includes ‘0’00’, a not-bloody-music* experimental piece for amplified everyday actions, as well as two pieces for pianos performed by Tudor and Toshi Ichiyanagi. * note: this is of course a good thing.

John Cage
Empty Words (Part III)

Empty Words are a series of John Cage text pieces that, as the title suggests, extracts parts of words into meaningless (or are they?) fragments: what we hear is Cage murmuring this strange non-language. The best thing about this 1977 performance in Milan is that the audience absolutely hate it, shouting and booing loudly, but Cage ignores them and continues for over 2 hours! Top trolling. Full performance on 3 LPs.

John Cage/ David Tudor

  • Artist(s):
  • John Cage

Henry Cowell / John Cage / Ben Johnston / Conlon Nancarrow - Robert Miller
Sound Forms For Piano

  • Artist(s):
  • John Cage

Various (Sonic Youth, Philip Jeck, Angus Maclise, John Cage etc.)
An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music Vol. 1

  • Artist(s):
  • John Cage