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Music For Piano 1-84

NEOS 10703-4CD NEOS 10703-4CD

Performed by Sabine Liebner, piano; recorded Oct., 2003. "Cage had discovered small irregularities, elevated points, or tiny spots on the surface structure of the paper, distributed completely irregularly. Within a predetermined interval of time he marked with ink as many of these irregularities as he could find. Thus he obtained an absolutely random constellation of a field of points. Then he placed a sheet of transparent music paper over it to convert the dots into exact pitches by means of the key signature and ledger lines. Using chance procedures, each of the notes determined in this way was assigned a dynamic value between pianissimo and fortissimo as well as, in some cases, a sharp or flat. 'Music for Piano 1' was produced in this way in 1952 and choreographed by Jo Anne Melcher as was 'Music for Piano 2' of the following year, for the dancer Louise Lippold. As a balance to his incessant efforts as an artist to make chance graspable in new ways in the points of coincidence and intersection of series of events that occur independently of one another, in 1954/55 he became increasingly at home in the universe of mycology. Perhaps he was haunted by another metaphysics of finding? Wherever he found an opportunity to find and identify mushrooms, Cage pursued this passion with professional depth -- in part, as he explained with a smile, because the word 'mushroom' immediately precedes 'music' in many dictionaries. Over the years he became an expert on mushrooms. He wrote a book on mushrooms with illustrations covered with Japanese silk paper; on an Italian television quiz show he won a lot of money with his expert knowledge. He meditated on the mysterious subterranean grow of mycelia, lichen, and carpophores in Japanese Zen gardens or American forests, and he could enthuse and sympathize with the horizons of sound and silence of this or that mushroom, whether they grew alone or in collections, or in bundles of five to six individual growths, saying that a such a spot of earth is precious."