description Music for piano (1952-62), as well as Music of changes (1951), has been composed applying different procedures of chance operations.
The discovery and utilization of imperfections of the paper, Cage was writing on, have been the principal method to determine the pitch of the musical material, for example. At the same time these pieces (4-84) assemble the independant musical material composed for the choreography SOLO SUITE IN SPACE AND TIME by M. Cunningham.
The idea and choice to record MUSIC FOR PIANO 4-84 overlapped in one unique piece (the whole cycle contains pieces 1-85) is due to the fact, that only this specific group of pieces can be played consecutively or overlapped by one or more pianist/s, as indicated in the scores.
By this choice, the conditions of production, the recording technology of the studio itself, became an extension of what we are (Cage), and the idea to perform the option of being played together and overlapped was leading us to this discographic project. One is becoming a multitude emerging from the heterogenerative polylogue of alterity.
According to the idea of a heterogenisis, the interest of this CD is to offer the possibility to listen to these 80 pieces in one, in which the successiv and overlapped single tracks of the recording are unfolding a new sound dimension merging from the polyphonic texture creating soundscapes and conciliating the singulary of different time-structures : to perceive, within the listening experience, the musical material and the instrumental gesture as the happening event of the instant.
The 80 pieces form 5 heterogeneous groups (4-19, 21-37, 38-52, 53-68, 69-84) and one single piece (20). The groups of pieces can be overlapped. The piece 20 is an exception and can therefor be played before or after the others.
These pieces are, referring to Cage’s indications, played within an previously set external time-frame. In this case 70 minutes, which is the determined time T of the technical capacity of a CD.
From this total time T, time x of the recording-time of piece 20 was substracted and placed, applying a chance operation utilising the I Ching, before the polyphonic corpus of the overlapped pieces.
The internal time structure was organized by considering the obtained durations of each group of pieces during the recording sessions. Thereafter the groups of pieces were placed within the given time-frame of T-x again applying chance operations.
Due to their shared connection to the aleatoric, the indetermined open (time-)spaces of the different sensitivities and the whole dispositif of the recording situation, structure and texture were relating and developing themselves (as an effect of constraint as well as of the flexible modularities) into trails, passages and singular in-between-spaces. The recording became a matter of taking account of the unpredictable and of substantiating the welcoming of the unknown and indeterminacy as authority without auther, which was very crucial to the composer/author.
Even though Cage was in fact writing the scores and generating musical material from the imperfections of the paper, the result of the recording, closely following each and every instruction, is a unique piece, that is at the same time truely new, complex, precise ans also permanently surprising because impossible to anticipate.