In 1982, the title piece from this Glenn Branca recording was performed at the New Music America festival in Chicago; Cage was there. Afterwards, Cage spoke about the piece, and that conversation is this album’s second track. Cage did not like the piece – a work for massed electric guitars that puts heavy emphasis on clashing pitches and textures – but had no issue with how it sounded. Rather, he objected to Branca’s goal as a composer, and in doing so revealed his uncompromising and personal philosophy with great transparency. “The Branca is an example of sheer determination of one person to be followed by the others. That is not a shepherd taking care of the sheep but of a leader insisting that people agree with him, giving them no freedom whatsoever.” Cage was avant-garde but not of the Avant-Garde; he sought to make systems to produce sounds while removing himself as much as possible from their production. He was a composer who did not need to be present, as opposed to Branca, Laurie Anderson and others, who need be personally involved. Cage saw this as a return to the Middle Ages, with modern technology.
By Justin Davidson on 03.28.14 in Features
How the group uses antique tape machines and "vintage analogue devices" to recreate the sound of early experimental music.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.10.13 in Spotlights
[Soul Jazz Records' new Punk 45 album charts the rise of underground punk across the USA between 1973-80, and features seminal, obscure and rare punk and proto-punk 45 singles from the likes of Pere Ubu, the Zeros, X Bla...
By John Schaefer on 08.01.12 in Reviews
Fans of Martin Scorsese know that the director is almost as creative with the sound of his films as the look and the story. Shutter Island is a moody, spectral tale — and you don't need to have seen the film to kno...
By Seth Colter Walls on 10.09.11 in Reviews
Let's take a moment to admire the service the Mode label has done for Cage appreciation. In the CD era, they released dozens of full albums in their (still in-process) Cage Complete Edition, exploring the less-celebrated...