Generous Ensemble | 9/5 | John Cage Centennial: The Vexations Project

BC Grimm, one of 133 composers to write a Satie: Vexations variation in celebration of Cage’s 100th B-Day | To be premiered on 9/5 @ Central Connecticut State University, Torp Theatre, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050 | Read below for more about Scott Comanzo and the Generous Ensemble‘s massive undertaking (PS you can still become a Patron of this event!)

Generous Ensemble | 9/5 |  John Cage Centennial: The Vexations Project

Scott Comanzo | GE Artistic Director

The Generous Ensemble will celebrate John Cageʼs 100th Birthday in a manner unlike any other Cage centennial concert this year. Please come out to CCSU OR check out our live feed (details to be posted here presently)

In July, Scott Comanzo, the artistic director of the Generous Ensemble, put out a call for 16-second long contributions (or shorter!) to a 40-minute collage piece based on Erik Satieʼs Vexations. 133 composers, ages 16 to 74, from all over the world (including Australia, Japan, Lithuania, Great Britain, and Canada) have responded and written these tiny vignettes to be performed as one piece on September 5th.

Vexations was written in 1893, likely as Erik Satieʼs own music therapy for the end of a short but intense relationship. It has become most famous for a vague recommendation asking performers to play the piece 840 times. It remained unpublished and unperformed publicly until John Cage brought it to light in the 50ʻs and organized its first (over 18-hour) performance in September of 1963.

Cage is credited for being the first and foremost Satie champion in the United States among his many innovations that have changed the face of art, society, and the course of history.

One of Cageʼs innovations was the use of “chance operations” in music composition. The Generous Ensemble employed chance operations to determine the order of performance for the contributions, which will be played consecutively as if one large piece. This collage style also draws inspiration from two additional Cage innovations: the “Exquisite Corpse” style of music composition collaboration and the “Musicircus.”

The Generous Ensemble will open the concert with a performance of Variations I by Cage, accompanied by a projection of the piece’s non-traditional graphic score to be viewed by audience and performers alike.

Admission is FREE!

More information @ GENEROUS ENSEMBLE

If you would like to contribute, please visit KICKSTARTER

Supported by the City of Hartford Business Development Grants for Artists Program, Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor, with funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program allocated to the City of Hartford


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