Major John Cage-related events are scheduled this month on both sides of the Atlantic, as pointed out by Stirling Newberry and via beepSNORT. In London, the BBC SO, London Sinfonietta et al are presenting the works of Cage, as well as other Americans like LaMonte Young, Morton Feldman, etc. In New York, the Anthology Film Archives is hosting a John Cage film festival, complete with a performance of Four6.
patterns from a random electrical percussion stream Sonic Youth recorded Four6 with Takehisa Kosugi and William Winant on their SY4: Goodbye 20th Century album along with music by Wolff, Tenney, Ono et al. It occasionally sounds like the band is about to be electrocuted by their equipment and Kim Gordon's chanting ("Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go...") can be annoying. Despite it all, the 30-minute performance has it merits in the exercise of sound choices, given Cage's leaving the instrumentation up to the performers.
William Winant, explaining the genesis of SYR 4, says that they recorded two versions of the piece, and ended up combining them:
One version was a quartet by Thurston, Kosugi, Lee and myself; the other one was Kim, Steve, O'Rourke and Wharton Tiers, who was also the recording engineer. We combined both versions in the final -- you can hear one quartet in each speaker.
The work is dedicated to Pauline Oliveros, Joan La Barbara, William Winant, and Leonard Stein. Adopted late in life, Cage's naming scheme would place Four6 as the sixth piece he wrote for four players.