Throw-back to festivals

Thinking of the New Music Box article by Caitlin Schmid (, who asks for information about festivals, we came up with this. Facebook has a custom called ‘Throw-Back Thursdays’, or TBT. This is one that has just been digitized. We’re having some problem with images on the EMC Blog at the moment, so for details, see our Facebook Page: It’s on full public access, so you should be able to see it, but here’s the text, for those who can’t.

This is from Classic Masterworks of Experimental Music Festival, University of Redlands, October 1982, that I curated. The theme of the festival was ‘Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear’ (tag line to The Lone Ranger), as all the music played came from the 1950s and 1960s. The afternoon (in the chapel) was a Musicircus, including New York School, Fluxus, and Scratch Orchestra pieces; the evening, in Watchorn Recital Hall, was more formal, including Terry Riley, In C, Frederic Rzewski, Les Moutons de Panurge, and Cage, 4’33”, among others. These two pictures are from the afternoon. On the first one, Robert Clarida, wearing a flashy stage band uniform jacket with a large glittery red treble clef motif, performs Cage’s 45′ for a Speaker on a ladder, in honour of its performance at Black Mountain College in 1952 (where Cage stood on a ladder). Bob was scared of heights and the position of the ladder, on the edge of a stage, made it seem even higher. It was a very brave act. The second picture depicts the performance of George Brecht’s Piano Piece 1962 (the vase of flowers) and Incidental Music. In the link, you can see the first of Incidental Music’s five pieces in the picture (the seat is tilted and rested against the piano; wooden blocks are stacked until at least one block falls). The third piece from Incidental Music is the picture — or rather, the picture is the outcome of the third piece, which reads, ‘Photographing the piano situation’.

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.

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