Open Cage

Hours: June 17, 7:30PM-9:10PM
Cost: $25
Programming Series:

Rec. Play.

OPEN CAGE : NEW YORK – a one hundred minute performative work honoring John Cage in 2012, the centennial of his birth. 

In 1992, OPEN CAGE: BRATISLAVA was created and directed by artist Morgan O’Hara as a celebration of John Cage’s 80th birthday, and performed in the Slovak Philharmony Hall in Bratislava. The original 80 minute score (which was to include John Cage, who unexpectedly passed away prior to its completion) has now been expanded to encompass details of Cage’s music, instructions, texts, and stories for the performance in New York in 2012.

On Sunday, the 17th of June, from 7:30PM-9:10PM O’Hara presents the work once more at Eyebeam in conjunction with the Chelsea Music Festival. Artists, poets, musicians, musicologists, actors, writers, Cage enthusiasts of all stripes, and interested persons are invited to participate. Those who wish to participate should email O’Hara directly at [email protected]
A 100 minute score will be ready for the performance and you will know exactly at which minute you will participate.  Activities will be running simultaneously and their durations will vary. Just as in life, there will be no rehearsal.  We ask that you arrive at Eyebeam by 6PM on the day of the performance to orient yourself, look at the score, and settle into the piece. You may bring a cage if you wish to.  We will start the 100 minutes at precisely 7:30 and end at precisely 9:10PM. A catered reception by festival chefs will follow the performance.
Simultaneous activities will take place in and around an installation of one hundred cages with their doors open. Actions will be performed by members of the New York art, poetry, and music communities, Cage enthusiasts, musicians participating in the Chelsea Music Festival, and interested audience members, under the direction of O’Hara. The one hundred minute performative work will involve recorded music and music performed live, texts from Cage’s writings, stories written by Cage collected in his books, objects and instruments for which he composed music, a complete chronology of his works read aloud by a musicologist, moving images of Cage himself talking about his work and life, texts describing his methodology with chance operations, and his studies of Zen Buddhism. Interested members of the audience will be invited to participate in the piece.
There are Cage texts to be read, music played, lists recited, stories told, objects manipulated, all in Eyebeam’s large open space.
We very much look forward to carrying out this piece to honor Cage, and would love to hear from you.
Wishing you the best,
Morgan O’Hara, Artist and OPEN CAGE: NEW YORK
Janna Dyk, Chelsea Music Festival, Collaborative Visual Arts Curator
Ken David Masur and Melinda Lee Masur, Chelsea Music Festival Artistic Directors
OPEN CAGE ideas for performers
 A list of actions to be performed:
1.     an actor reading mesostics
2.     someone manipulating audiovisual equipment
3.     bandsaw operator cutting firewood
4.     bassonist with bassoon
5.     someone to work with the bird, live or mechanical
6.     carillon player
7.     cellist with cello
8.     chamber orchestra
9.     someone to work with the I Ching
10.  chess players
11.  small chorus
12.  clarinetist with clarinet
13.  pianist
14.  toy piano pianist
15.  computer operator
16.  dancer(s) (Cunningham Dance Company members?)
17.  reader of Cage on Cunningham NachtCageTag p61, Silence p270
18.  cymbals player with cymbals
19.  card players (2-4)
20.  dj with equipment
21.  reader of Cage on Duchamp A Year From Monday p70-71, M:Writings ’67 – ’72 p36
22.  people setting up and using electronic equipment (any)
23.  someone running a film projector
24.  fireman in uniform
25.  a flautist with flute
26.  someone reading Cage on Fuller Diary 1970-1971 p 110, Diary ’71-’72 p 207, 213-215
27.  a harpist with harp
28.  a horn player with horn
29.  someone reading the casting instructions from the I Ching
30.  reader of Cage on the I Ching from For the Birds p 95,213-214, M:Writings ’67 – ’72 p 215, Silence p175-176
31.  someone reading from Finnegan’s Wake p428
32.  someone preparing macrobiotic food
33.  someone working with magnetic tape in any way
34.  someone reading Cage writing about mesostics M:Writings ’67 – ’72 p94,95
35.  someone playing with microphone feedback
36.  someone reading Cage on mushrooms M:Writings ’67 – ’72 p117, 181
37.  someone chopping mushrooms (caterers preparing mushrooms for the reception?)
38.  someone to read the genera and species of mushrooms
39.  reader of modus operandi from Notations the preface, For the Birds p161
40.  someone silently reading a newspaper
41.  someone reading a newspaper out loud (from the date 5 September 1912)
42.  an oboist with oboe
43.  an orchestra or someone to play an orchestral recording
44.  an organist (or recording) (or mouth organ/harmonica) and instrument
45.  a percussion ensemble and instruments
46.  someone to water and groom the plant material + watering can
47.  someone to manipulate pipes
48.  a piano preparer + required objects
49.  an operator of a toy train
50.  someone to read the countdown of years on a public address system
51.  a record player performer
52.  someone reading Cage on Rauschenberg Silence p98,100
53.  reader of Cage on Satie Silence p76-79, For the Birds p184
54.  reader of Cage on Schoenberg A Year From Monday p 45-49, For the Birds p75
55.  2 or more people writing in calligraphy, large, the words simultaneous activities
56.  someone which will stop everything to silence at a certain point
57.  person to project mushroom images
58.  a speaking ensemble
59.  someone reading Cage on Gertrude Stein For The Birds page 181
60.  a string quartet and instruments
61.  reader of Cage on D.T. Suzuki: A Year from Monday p67,68, M p5,26, Silence p262
62.  a television manipulator
63.  someone reading Cage on Virgil Thompson For the Birds pages 85-86
64.  a toy piano performer
65.  someone reading Cage on Thoreau: from M:Writings ’67 – ’72 p.1, Mureau p37, Mushroom Book p122
66.  a trombonist with trombone
67.  a trumpeter with trumpet
68.  a reader of Cage on Tudor: NachtCageTag p61, A Year from Monday p135, Silence p.20
69.  someone reading Cage on Edgar Varese: Silence p84, For The Birds p74
70.  a violinist with violin
71.  a singer with music or memorized song
72.  someone to sound waterfilled shells
73.  someone to sound the large tub of water (water reservoir)
74.  a whistler
75.  a whistle blower and whistle
76.  reader of Cage on Zen Buddhism Silence p6, M:Writings ’67 – ’72, p5, For the Birds p92,201,202
77.  someone practicing Zazen for 100 mins.
78.  a composer working on a visual score
79.  someone reading a chronological biography of John Cage
80.  someone reading a chronological biography of Merce Cunningham
81.  reader of Cage on Pierre Boulez Conversing with Cage p121, For the Birds p180
82.  a painter with light
83.  someone cleaning out a refrigerator and stocking it with grains and fresh vegetables
84.  a radio announcer describing Open Cage in progress
85.  readers of 100 questions from Silence
86.  composer reading The Future of Music: CREDO from Silence p3-6
87.  reader of Mushroom Book from M:Writings ’67 – ’72
88.  Peters Editions Music Publishing Company representative showing Cage scores
89.  a musicologist reading Cage’s list of works from Paul van Emmerick’s research
90.  representative from a recording company speaking about recording with Cage
91.  a person to deconstruct a large bamboo cage
92.  someone to read the text from John Cage
93.  someone to read from Empty Words: Writings ’73 – ’78
94.  someone reading from M:Writings ’67 – ’72
95.  someone to read Cage’s obituary notice from the New York Times
96.  ?
97.  ?
98.  ?
99.  ?
100. ?
NOTE: You may choose from this list or invent something else along these lines. Friends are encouraged to participate. New York is loaded with people who knew Cage so all are encouraged to join in this celebration, everyone on the same footing. Those who did not know Cage and who would like to participate in the celebration are also welcome. Each person should bring his or her own props. Texts have been prepared on index cards and will be provided on the day of the performance.
Research: Sound