I'm very sorry to give this information so late (back home from traveling and found it). I hope it would be anyway useful for those interested in the work of John Cage.
here's some words from http://www.aaa-angelica.com/ (to read the complete text and event program: clic on "mappamenu"->N news->Take the Cage Train)
"Cage’s Train remained engraved in the memories of all of those who took part in it, and the echo left behind by this prepared train still resonates after many years. In occasion of the 30th anniversary of one of the most important musical projects ever realized in Italy ... a new train is under construction.
A part of the programme (1978 - Cage’s Train - In search of the lost silence - Three excursions for prepared train) will be dedicated to the events of 1978:
An exhibition of photographic material, videos, installations and unpublished documents at Bologna’s Museo d’Arte Moderna (MAMbo, a fundamental collaborator to this project).
The publication of a photographic book which contains critical essays on the event, in Italian and English, of three audio CDs containing the recordings made during the train’s journeys in 1978, elaborated by Walter Marchetti and Patrizio Fariselli following Cage’s instructions, and of one DVD (all the above are unpublished material which is being collected and issued for the first time).
A new trio (whose members are all linked to Cage) with Joan la Barbara, Alvin Curran, and Philip Corner will open the series of concerts that will take place at the MAMbo.
Two special evenings with FontanaMIXensemble from Bologna, a group of musicians that, in spite of the difficulties faced by those who do research, keeps developing its work on an international level. In this specific occasion they will present a few of Cage’s least known works, performed by a line-up which is rather new for those compositions, which also entail a special relationship with space.
The other part of the programme, closely linked to the events that will take place at MAMbo, looks back to 1978 in order to rethink 2008, and to reflect upon the present.
Take The Little Cage Train, at Bologna’s Museo della Musica, is the children’s world, a world that is close to all musics, lacking the distinctions made by adults. There will be an itinerant performance based on Cage’s work and created over several months by students and their teachers.
Last but not least, Boletus Edulis - commuter music - by Alvin Curran, musical director of the project, musician and composer, who will be in charge of the sonorization of the train and of coordinating the guest musicians with the local contributions (town bands, choirs, etcetera). For them, he will write new compositions in order to re-project together the “prepared train” and the places of its stops: an acoustic train in sharp contrast with modern technology, where musicians and music occupy a central role.
Before returning to Bologna, the audience/passengers will enjoy a mushroom-based buffet inspired in Cage’s passion for mushrooms.
The ingredients of Boletus Edulis will not be fully revealed, but they will remain a surprise for the passengers: only at the end of the event it will be possible to know and to write what happened.
Radios will follow the train in order to broadcast it to the places it cannot reach."
the main site of the event:
MAMbo = Museo d'arte Moderna di Bologna
museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna
pictures of the 1978 event
Alvin Curran's website
This is an amazing post, cajo.
You've given all the salient quotes from the original text, you've given lots of relevant links, and you've, once again, used color and bold, etc., to draw us to each item. Nice to see the care you put into these things...
I never knew about the Cage Train. Never. It sounds like a big freesounds event! It proves all the more how much Cage is one of the precursors of this site.
As I've said in a few other posts, I met Cage several times and spoke with him at length. What was amazing was, despite his fame in avant garde circles, he was open to anyone, and he had a childlike glee in playing games. So the train concept fits right in: It's an event, a full experience, which was what Cage was about. I say this to people all the time: To hear Cage on CD or LP is like seeing a b&w copy of a painting: You just don't get the fullness of the Cage experience. He was a true performance artist, an event artist; and to watch him improvise with sounds & make theater out of them & sometimes just enjoy the sheer 'newness' of them, was the Cage experience.
I posted this too, but it bears repeating:
I saw him break sticks with the Merce Cunningham Dance company. While Cage broke sticks in the orchestra pit, Merce did poses on stage. Just poses. It was mesmerizing because Cage was in total harmony with Cunningham's movements; and the auditorium was like a big black sea with tiny "flashes" happening—only they were auditory flashes. And Cunningham—by no means young—moved like a graceful statue. It was Cage's art at its best. And when the concert was over, me and my girlfriend got up (she was totally confused!) and the auditorium filled with cries of: "Boo to you, John Cage! Boo to you!"
When we asked him how he felt about the boos, he said: "It was wonderful! Booing is a great sound!"
So I can imagine what it was like to be on this train...
He was like a child: He never lost his playfulness. And believe me, when you saw some of the dead-seriousness of the avant garde at that time, seeing Cage was a breath of fresh air. He always answered letters too—I mean personally, hand-written!—wrote on the back of your letter to save paper, and always talked to people after each concert. How many artists can you say that about?
Thanks, a terrific post. Bows, friend! Molto gratitudine!
(I hope that was correct!)
"...I don't know why thousands of youngs has gone to the Lirico Theater that evening, what they did expect, if they know who John Cage was and what he was doing. What is sure is that they were silent and meditative waiting for the concert. So they falled into the trap prepared by one of the last grand provocateurs of our century avangarde, which merciless started to syllabicate "Empty Words" (random elaborated phonemes from Thoreau's texts) for two hours and half.
The 'public' was obliged to lay their cards:
to admit to be wrong and leave the hall;
to listen to the «concert»;
to interrupt with force that subdued disturbing voice;
to became protagonist of the situation.
That evening the public was not able to remain 'public' and didn't succeed in any of these actions. In the hall everything happened, but everything failed...
Cage quietly ended his recitation at the expected time with no one spectator out of the theatre."
Gianni Sassi - settembre 1979
Gianni Sassi is maybe the most famous Italian critic. in this sharp dense article he didn't underline all the boos, whistles and cries Cage received from the public - just like Mark describe, but during the performance and not at the end. Sassi neither mentioned the screen where simple graphic elaborations did run, an ante-laptop synesthesia. at the end of the performance Cage put out his lens, standed up and went near the public with his arms open: a unpredictable applause blasted.
I had not the fortune to live those events, only reporting here what found in the net. sorry for the weird translation!
Cage's works show well the power of sound and silence freed from music/culture/structure, something everybody can feel, enjoy and get embarassed by. you're right Mark, he was a seeder in the freesound humus. and thanks for your precious comments! real history!
here are some links from a Freesound friend. suggestion: experience the samples chronologically
Prepared Piano, 1940 (excerpt by modern interpreter)
4:33, 1955 (performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2007)
Water Walk, 1960
Variations V, 1965 - with Merce Cunningham
Preparing with Musicians, 1982
Philosophizing on Sound (and Traffic), 1991
John Cage Year Lublin 2012
"[...]We have decided to celebrate the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth by organizing a John Cage Year in Lublin because we believe that at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century we still live in the Cagean era and that new generations of musicians continue to draw extensively on his legacy, often without realizing how many doors in art were first opened by him.[...]"
01.01.2012 - 31.12.2012