John Cage - Variations IV

Variations IV is a bridge between two of the cycles of works which Cage produced in the '50s and early '60s. The 'Variations' pieces are some of Cage's mostly challenging indeterminate scores - not so much notations as instruments on how to make a performance using complex chance operations- and were used by Cage and David Tudor as the basis for their duo work in which they pioneered the medium of live electronic music. (It was a performance of Variations I in Darmstadt in 1958, for example, which is credited in all the modern music histories as being the moment when the serialist composers of the European avant- garde were irrevocably blown off course.) But the title page of Variations IV also identifies it as the third part of a cycle of works whose other parts are the 'silent' piece 4'33" and the single action piece 0'00", Cage at his most conceptual.

The score of Variations IV provides nothing more than instruments for locating sounds within a space, sounds which tonight will be performed by members of the University's 21st Century Music Ensemble: lsabel Bowler, Christopher Fox, John Hodgson, Neil Stemp, John Warhurst and Michael Wolters.

Variations IV
Concert 1
St-Paul's Hall