FUNDED! This project was successfully funded on 16 June, 2012. Find other projects
John Cage's Song Books
- Theater Arts
Our fans know that we've been combining music and theater for some time now. What they might not know is that John Cage's work was an early inspiration for us to take that path. We did a production of Song Books as students years before we started Alarm Will Sound. Much of what we've accomplished since then in reinvigorating the concert-hall experience goes right back to the excitement we felt during that first Song Books. It calls on us to expand how we think of ourselves as performers - not using just our instruments, but also our bodies, the space between us, and the experience of coming together itself. And it calls on audiences to open themselves to an all-inclusive definition of music as a performance art.
Perhaps Cage's greatest music-theater work, Song Books is a collection of instrumental compositions, songs, electronic music, and theater pieces that can be combined in countless ways. It was the touchstone for all his later activity in art, music, and writing, which he described as a multiplicity of overlapping creative streams, each one largely unforeseen and unexpected. It was this maverick originality that made Cage one of the most influential composers and musical thinkers of our time, and that keeps his work provocative for today's audience.
Our new production, created by director Nigel Maister and Cage scholar Rob Haskins, re-imagines Cage's 1970 text as a contemporary, smart, and dramatic theatrical and musical event. The audience will be immersed in music, action, text, staging, lighting, video - the full range of expressive means available today. We're particularly excited to include social media in the creative process and performance of the piece; Cage continually embraced technology and certainly would have used the internet and mobile devices to make and share performance art.
USA Projects crowdfunding will go towards the creation of the multimedia elements of the production. Your donation will support the design time and talents of Brent Felker (video) and Allen Hahn (lighting). It also will allow us to experiment with media not normally included in classical music performances: projection, live-action video, internet connectivity, costumes, props and sets. Your donation will therefore help to push the boundaries of the conventional concert experience - a fitting tribute to Cage on his 100th birthday.