Wednesday, August 8, 2012

preparations: john cage 100


i don't know why i decided to attend the free concert of cage prepared piano pieces in the MOMA sculpture garden in the summer of '88.  

i had no one to go with, knew very little of cage or his music, and it was very hot out.  but i went anyway, heard this, and became a devoted fan.  and then attended the two other cage concerts in the sculpture garden series that summer.


i love the sound of prepared piano, and always hope that c. will have performances of his own very strong pieces with preparations.  alas, it's logistically difficult to program prepared piano music, so it's rare to hear it live.

right now i'm immersed in cage.  studying him for exams, studying him to enhance my inner work & spiritual practices, studying him as i prepare to teach again in the fall, and, (this is the best part) getting ready for a special 100th birthday celebration for cage on september 5th at the locust salon.

some really cool people have agreed to perform so far.

here are some of cage's ideas about teaching and studying that i'm thinking about as school preparations ensue:

john cage: some rules for students and teachers

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student - pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher - pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined - this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: "We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities." (John Cage)

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything - it might come in handy later. 

1 comment:

  1. I love Cage's rules!--esp Rule Seven. And I'm so glad you're doing Cage up right in Provo.