Tuesday, April 16, 2013

33 ⅓

Yoko Ono
11" x 8.5", 2013
watercolor on paper

John Cage
11" x 8.5", 2013
watercolor, pen on paper
33 ⅓ is the title of a composition by John Cage. It's not a composition in the traditional sense of composition, it's in fact more of a conceptual art piece than it is a musical composition. In it are 12 turntables that are to be played simultaneously. The composition involves audience participation. The audience is the performer of the piece. 33 ⅓ refers to the speed in which records are to be played on the turntables, the turntables are set to 33 ⅓ rpm. In 2012, the 100th anniversary of John Cage's birth, I was one of the performers in an installation of the piece at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State College in Fort Myers. The piece is right up my alley: As the source material for the composition "guest curators" were invited to submit 10 records of their choice, a sort of top 10 of their favorite records. These guest curators included David Byrne, Lee Ranaldo, Yoko Ono, Mike Kelley, Iggy Pop, Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, John Baldessari, Vito Acconci, Joan la Barbara, James Rosenquist, Matthew Barney, William Wegman, Ed Ruscha, Richie Ramone, Brian Ferry, Blixa Bargeld, and Jack White, indeed a who's who of art art and music. David Byrne's selection consisted of all spoken word recordings, while Yoko Ono selected only records involving herself, her late husband John Lennon, and her son Sean Ono Lennon. I had a blast browsing through the records of these luminaries and playing out my heart's content. When it was all said and done, the turntables silenced, the piece finished (for the day), I made a top 10 of the records I played that night. Air Male by Yoko Ono and the Plastic One Band was the number one on my list. 

No comments:

Post a Comment