Play along in our John Cage orchestra!

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On September 5, 2012, Northwestern University Library opens its new exhibit on avant garde composer John Cage with a Do-It-Yourself Cage Concert in which the general public is invited to participate. One of the most influential figures in twentieth century music and art, Cage is perhaps most widely known as the composer of the work 4'33"—that’s four minutes, thirty-three seconds, the duration of time for which performers are asked to not-play their instruments.

To introduce the new exhibit Sound & Silence: John Cage Composing Himself, the Library will stage a lunchtime orchestral performance of 4’33” in its main building at 1970 Campus Drive in Evanston. The orchestra will be composed of anyone who shows up with a musical instrument. “That could mean anything traditional, like a violin or a French horn,” says exhibit co-curator Greg MacAyeal, assistant head of the Music Library “or any of the types of improvised percussion instruments that Cage collected, like baby rattles, chopsticks, or wood blocks." MacAyeal will lead the orchestra in a short warm-up and rehearsal at 12:15 p.m., and then conduct the performance at 12:30. “Or just come without an instrument,” says MacAyeal, "and we'll be happy to supply you with one."

For more information, contact Clare Roccaforte, c-roccaforte@northwestern.edu or 847-467-5918.