Note on the Music
In 2011, the flutist and visual artist Eberhard Blum asked me to write a solo percussion piece for a chamber music festival honoring the centenary of John Cage’s birth. The piece was premiered in 2012, at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, as part of a program featuring Cage’s 27′ 8.554″ and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Zyklus. Adam Weisman was the percussion soloist.
I wanted to write a piece with a relatively simple structure and surface, taking as a point of departure my admiration for Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano. While looking for musical material, I came upon a four-note chord that could be transposed to spell C-A-G-E. In this way, the piece became a collection of “variants and interludes”: versions of the four-note chord alternating with shifting references to other material.
With Cage 3: Variants and Interludes, I have composed a work that expresses my gratitude to Cage for his liberating influence on artists, opening opportunities from a variety of sources such as electronic sounds, chance procedures, and a fresh awareness of Nature.
The piece is dedicated to the percussionist Jan Williams and the composer Maryanne Amacher, both colleagues of John Cage and friends of mine from my years in Buffalo, New York.
I would like to express my thanks to Jan and Diane Williams for their help in preparing this score, and to Adam Weisman for his brilliant performance at the premiere.
JPT Hamburg, April 2021
Are 3036 Booklet