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John Cage Is Waiting Just Around The Corner

Instruction manual for a performance of “Variations IV” at Beefeater In-Edit Barcelona.
16/10/2015 Santiago Salvador
In a hotel room in Manhattan. The composer and pianist Francesco Tristano opens the “score” of John Cage’s “Variations IV”. He reads aloud: “For any number of players, any sounds or combinations of sounds produced by any means, with or without other activities”. All right, then. The score also includes a transparent sheet marked with seven points and two small circles, which are to be dropped randomly on top of a map of the city. This gives us the exact points where the seven “movements” of the piece should be produced or captured. Damn it, Cage: the game has already begun; the piece is already playing somewhere. And there’s no way of knowing when it will end. But does it really matter?
This is the starting point for Everybody’s Cage, the documentary by Sandra Trostel that offers us an expedition through the streets of New York hunting for sounds and capturing them, following the brief and immensely free instructions from the sound map that Cage drew in 1963 and debuted at the University of California Los Angeles for the dance piece Field Dances by the equally legendary Merce Cunningham.
To accompany the screening of Everybody’s Cage at the Beefeater In-Edit festival in Barcelona, Sandra Trostel has offered those of you who are interested to participate in a performance of “Variations IV” on the streets of Barcelona. Up to 12 of you will have the chance to join in the activity, which will take place on Wednesday, November 4th at 11 a.m. The starting point will be the Hall of the Hotel Pulitzer (Bergara, 8). You will be required to sign up in advance via our website
Here is a photo gallery of images from the filming of “Everybody’s Cage”, courtesy of the photographer Lilli Thalgott.