Steinways on TV and other School of Music news

 

In case you missed the go! Island episode about the School of Music’s Steinway pianos that ran on Shaw TV between November 19th and 25th, you can now catch it online. The segment featured piano professor Arthur Rowe and dedicated UVic piano tuner Jim Anderson speaking with Shaw host Nikki Ewanyshyn, and showed Anderson working on one the Steinways, as well as some fancy student keyboard action.

In other departmental news, musicology professor Jonathan Goldman appeared on Vancouver’s Radio Canada—that’s the French CBC station—on September 24, discussing the Learning Without Borders program through which he won a course development grant to develop his Mus 391: Global Music class . . . which is having an end-of-semester Global Music Fair from 4:30-6pm on Wednesday, November 28 in the David Lam foyer and MAC A144.

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Debussy was celebrated in the faculty concert Images: the Piano Music of Claude Debussy, featuring piano professor Bruce Vogt—which earned a note in Times Colonist classical music writer Kevin Bazzana’s October 25 column. Bazzana also mentioned that Vogt “celebrated the Liszt bicentenary last year, too, with a three-concert series” and included a plug for the School of Music’s new live streaming concert page on their website.

Christopher Butterfield at Open Space for the Cage 100 Festival.
Photo: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

Music professor Christopher Butterfield yielded a great deal of coverage for the recent Cage 100 Festival he curated in November. “I think Cage’s whole point is that he wants people to be acutely aware of the kind of aural world or acoustic world around them and to be able to actually, I don’t know, rejoice in the sheer idea of consciousness or of being sensitive to the world, and you don’t need the kind of conventional constructs of music,” Butterfield told Globe and Mail arts writer Marsha Lederman. “It’s much more about a much larger world of sound possibilities than simply the ones put together for people to learn on the piano or the violin or an orchestra or whatever.” He also appeared in articles in the Times Colonist, on CFUV’s U in the Ring show with Phoenix Bain (hear the podcast here), and an interesting review of the Cage 100 fest appeared in the Coastal Spectator blog.

Congratulations go out to composition and music theory professory Dániel Péter Biró, whose Kivrot HaTa’avah (Graves of Craving), a piece for solo bass flute, was selected as an independent submission for the International Society of Contemporary Music 2013 World New Music Days in Kosice, Bratislava, and Vienna. Established back in 1922, ISCM is an international network of members from 50 countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of contemporary music; they present an annual international festival offering contemporary music across a broad range of contemporary practice. Biró’s Kivrot HaTa’avah will be performed alongside other Canadian pieces including Anna Pidgorna’s solo accordion piece Light-play through curtain holes, and Patrick Saint-Denis’ multimedia work Trombe.

George Tzanetakis in the Saanich News (Photo: Edward Hill)

Meanwhile, Computer Science and Music prof George Tzanetakis talked about robotic musicianship and other electronic music notes in the Saanich News on October 19. “When you play sound, a musician hears what is happening. We are trying to add the ability to understand music to an artificial agent that performs,” he told reporter Edward Hill. “The idea is to make the system musically intelligent, to have robotic musicianship.”

And when fellow music & comp-sci prof Andrew Schloss brought acclaimed futurist Jaron Lanier to campus to speak at the School of Music about Alan Turing’s spiritual legacy on November 7, he also found time to speak to CBC Radio One’s On The Island host Gregor Craigie. You can catch a podcast of Lanier’s interview here. Also, music & comp-sci grad Anthony Theocharis appeared in the Vancouver Sun recently thanks to his association with MediaCore, who won the $100,000 top prize in the BCIC-New Ventures competition. (Theocharis is MediaCore’s chief of engineering.) The Sun noted that the Victoria-based MediaCore “has developed a cloud-based platform that connects instructors with public school and university students, as well as business seminars via online video connections.”

Finally, if you want to keep up on the indie film projects of music prof John Celona, check out his Openfilm channel, where you can see four of his short movies: Nightfreight, Whisper Loretta, Reaching for Paradise and Mistress Italiano.

Good reasons to see Good Person

Phoenix Theatre’s current production of Good Person of Setzuan closes on November 24, so there’s still time to catch it. If you need a bit of prompting, here’s what the local media has been saying about it.

Simon Farrow’s set for Good Person of Setzuan (photo: David Lowes)

Veteran Times Colonist reviewer Adrian Chamberlain felt “The Good Person of Setzuan is as relevant today as it was 70 years ago . . . [it] investigates the corrupting influences of commerce and poverty. And that stuff never goes out of vogue.”

From the show’s large cast, Chamberlain noted in his November 10 review—titled “A Person Worth Getting to Know”—that lead actor Veronique Piercy “plays Shen Te as a believably forthright person, while her Shui Ta musters the requisite backbone for a hard-nosed business type. Kale Penny plays Wang the water-seller with flair and the right balance of humour and pathos.”

He also praised director Conrad Alexandrowicz’s “contemporary dance/movement flourishes” that he felt “work very well . . . a gang of street people trudges onstage single file—arms on each other’s shoulders—to seek charity, then exits in the same manner when denied. Bouts of fisticuffs are enacted in exaggerated comic-book style. There’s wit and humour to this approach.”

Some of Kat Jeffery’s costumes for Setzuan (photo: David Lowes)

Meanwhile, Monday Magazine‘s Mary Ellen Green cited the “modern touches” that director Alexandrowicz used to update the story to the 21st century, and enjoyed the original music by third-year student Francis Melling, which, she says, “adds a blues-rock edge to the production, and also a sense of whimsy.”

Green also noted in her November 14 review that “the set, designed by fourth-year student Simon Farrow, is immense, successfully portraying the vastness of a metropolis … The set doesn’t necessarily resemble China, though, but more of a modern international any-city, which makes a lot of sense considering the issues in the play are universal.” She also pointed out “costume designer Kat Jeffery‘s use of armbands emblazoned with the names of mega-corporations really brought home the theme of humans being slaves to unchecked corporate greed.”

Monica Prendergast, one of the theatre reviewers for local CBC Radio morning show On the Island, says “movement professor Conrad Alexandrowicz does quite a nice job directing . . . He has a nice ensemble. The stage is littered with young people, which is always great, and they move nicely together as you would expect from a movement professor . . . The play takes a lighter approach to the story.” Listen to a podcast of Prendergast’s seven-minute On the Island review here.

Director Conrad Alexandrowicz (photo: David Lowes)

Finally, local theatre blogger Janis La Couvée says, “Piercy toggles effortlessly between the two roles . . . the chemistry between Shen Te and her lover, the unemployed pilot Yang Sun (Alex Frankson), is persuasive. It’s easy to see why Shen Te falls for his advances and promises, time and time again, despite her best intentions . . . I particularly enjoyed the annoying antics of Mrs. Shin (Christie Stewart), Shen Te’s nosy and know-it-all neighbour.”

La Couvée also noted how “the massive scale of the set (designed by Simon Farrow) serves to underline the overbearing inevitability of the industrialized complex, and the desperate poverty of the city’s citizens while offsetting it through the creation of more intimate spaces like the magnificently retractable tobacco shop.” You can read the entire review on La Couvée’s blog.

Finally, give a listen to director Conrad Alexandrowicz’s own thoughts about the production, as well as more about the history and philosophies of Bertolt Brecht—from his marxist beliefs to his ideas of Epic theatre—in this podcast from the Phoenix’s Director’s Series. Alexandrowicz offered “The Art of Bertolt Brecht” as a pre-show lecture, and it serves as a great primer before seeing the show.

Defending a fine arts education

We hear it all the time from struggling students and concerned parents alike—what are the job prospects for anyone with a degree in Fine Arts? And while those of us in the field can argue the benefits till we’re cerulean in the face, it’s always nice to hear an outside opinion singing the praises of fine arts.

Fine Arts education proponent Dr. Barbara Falk

Consider the following story that appeared on The Mark, an independent news site whose contributors include “Nobel laureates, heads of state, best-selling authors, business leaders, artists, academics and more.” In Defence of a Fine Arts Education is written by Dr. Barbara J. Falk, an associate professor at the Canadian Forces College, who specializes not in the fine arts but in political philosophy, dissent, Cold War history, war and terrorism, contemporary public policy and debates regarding globalization and global governance.

“What if there is a place in universities today where students are simultaneously acquiring job-related skills, challenged to be entrepreneurial and creative at times of high unemployment and engaging in the ideal process of human development described above?” Dr. Mark asks rhetorically. “It is happening. In the Fine Arts.”

After summarizing the usual post-secondary complaints—high cost, diminishing job prospects, too many graduates—and the standard defences (intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, challenging the status quo), Dr. Falk points out what so many of us already know: how challenging a fine arts education can actually be.

Getting into Fine Arts programs is often considerably more difficult than general admissions into the arts and sciences,” she writes. “Portfolios and auditions are required, and our supposedly over-coddled millennial kids who reputedly want a trophy for just showing up get dished out plenty of criticism and rejection out of the starting gate. And talent is not a replacement for good grades or a tough work ethic. At York University in Toronto, the students accepted into the Theatre program outpace the business students with the highest average entry grades.”

Visiting professor Michael Nicol Yahgulannas critiques student art

“Fine Arts students—whether in Theatre or Music, Creative Writing or Visual Art—learn early on that they had better cope constructively with intense and often very public criticism, or they are not going to survive. They have to learn how to respond quickly and offer feedback to their peers—tactfully and not boorishly.

They learn to work together in pressure-cooker situations, multi-task, and project manage—as much if not more so than in business schools, because the results are real and not imaginary. In Theatre and Music especially, students must be enormously respectful of deadlines that are not amenable to ‘the dog ate my homework’ kinds of excuses. If you’re stage managing or acting in a production, being late is not an option. An orchestra cannot begin a concert without its members present. And the variety and type of written assignments—either in traditional essay or more creative format—on top of all the audition, rehearsal, performance and skills development activity—directly contradicts the reigning campus stereotype of the BFA as the Bachelor of F—K All.”

Now, Dr. Falk does admit that her own daughter is a Department of Theatre acting student right here in UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and her extensive bio does include one tangentially fine arts-related position—as the director of human resources at Sony Music Canada—but she’s hardly someone you would turn to as the first line of fine arts defence. But her points are incredibly valid.

Piano professor Arthur Rowe well knows talent alone often isn’t enough to guarantee success

“Students in the Fine Arts are prepared from day one that there are no automatic job guarantees once they graduate from university,” she writes. “They know they have to think entrepreneurially about their work, that it’s not demeaning to take other jobs while you hone your craft, and that you often have to work as a team and take risks to be successful. Because the arts are perpetually under siege, students are acutely aware that you had better learn to make your own opportunities in life, and when things don’t turn out, that you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

“Artists are also an inherently interdisciplinary bunch, learning—out of desire and necessity—to research and understand time periods, characters, conflicts, and methodologies, in order to complete their work. In a sense, they are part-time sociologists, psychologists, philosophers and historians. Ultimately, they are students of the human condition, and realize that learning is lifelong and does not stop at graduation day.

“Artistic examination of a subject is hardly arid, but meant to provoke, inspire, generate catharsis. In that respect, artistic endeavor is deeply community oriented, requiring a public and respecting an audience. Moreover, historically it’s those pesky artists who are often the most dangerously insightful, taking risks in creatively speaking truth to power, and suffering the political consequences. It’s no accident that artists are disproportionately overrepresented in dissident groups who often crazy enough to fight for and then successfully achieve some measure of societal change. We need artists to act as a mirror—to reflect back to us our shortcomings and failures—and demand that we deliver, and do better.

“Finally, Fine Arts programs combine the practical with the theoretical. The skills they learn—whether in marketing or the use of power tools—are transferable in ways not immediately evident in traditional university offerings. Of course not every student with a degree in Theatre is going to become an award-winning playwright, actor or director. But it bears worth mentioning that, during the financial meltdown in 2008-2009, the entertainment industry kept generating jobs while many at the bottom of the food chain, armed only with their Bachelor of Commerce degrees, were left pounding the pavement. And a large proportion of arts-related jobs—from the menial to the celebrity—are not easily amenable to outsourcing to export-processing zones overseas.”

Read the full article here.

Two Visual Arts related shows

There are two Department of Visual Arts related shows happening this week that look to be well worth a visit.

Becky Cao

First up is cheerfultearful, an exhibit of new work by the students of Visual Arts painting professor Sandra Meigs‘ third-year painting class. Featuring work by nine students—Jesse Betman, Linnea Blum, Terri-Lynn Cayhill, Becky Cao, Nadine Halston, Carmen Low, Owen Mathieson, Jeffrey Sedun and Erin Shuttleworth—this brief exhibit is on now and runs through to Saturday, November 10, in the Audain Gallery in the Visual Arts building. Why wait for the annual BFA show in the spring? Check out student work now!

Also opening this week is the photography exhibit _backspace at the Slide Room Gallery. Curated by Visual Arts sessional instructor Tara Nicholson and featuring work by Visual Arts photography professor Vikky Alexander, _backspace also offers photos by the acclaimed likes of Stephen Waddell and Sarah Fuller. Alexander and Waddell are both featured in the 2012 Canadian Biennale at the National Gallery in Ottawa (on now till January 20, 2013) while Fuller will be included in Alberta’s 2013 Biennale. Also appearing in  _backspace are Elspeth Finlay, Johanne Hemond, Francis Sullivan and Selena Roberts.

Stephen Waddell

As curator Nicholson explains, photographs were selected from over 40 submissions, based not only on each artist’s response to the thematic concerns but also how their work paralleled the practices of the three internationally recognized artists invited to appear: Alexander, Fuller and Waddell.

_backspace signifies overlooked or forgotten spaces and eludes to a disengagement or desire to exit from everyday processes,” Nicholson says in the exhibit’s catalogue. “The physical and psychological borders between private and public space materialize within the work in this exhibition. _backspace investigates the idea of sanctuary in rural and urban space and the never-ending layers of ownership attached to many landmasses.”

_backspace opens 7:30pm, Friday November 9, at the Slide Room Gallery in the Vancouver Island School of Art, 2549 Quadra, and runs Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to December 10. 

Creating an “anywhere” city

It could be any city . . . any big international anywhere city. It could be Victoria. It is every city. In his classic parable play Good Person of Setzuan, Bertolt Brecht asks many difficult questions of his characters and of his audience. Why is it so hard to do the right thing, to be a good person?

Director Conrad Alexandrowicz (photo: David Lowes)

While developing his current production for the Phoenix Theatre, director Conrad Alexandrowicz couldn’t help but think not only of those caught in the global economic crisis, but also of the poverty and homelessness in his own city. “I was curious to see how the philosophical questions and moral lessons of Brecht’s original translated to a world that has grown more thoroughly corporatized and materialistic than that of his day,” says  Alexandrowicz, not only a professor in UVic’s Theatre department but also the Artistic Director of Wild Excursions Performance.

“We live in one big globalized world now,” he continues. “Corporatized culture and branding in China is as similar to its effect in North America as it is in many places across the world. Now more than ever, this parable is universal and therefore, it could also happen here in Victoria. Brecht’s play is as topical and poignant now as when it was written—if not more so.”

The trials of living in Victoria were recently recounted in the Vital Signs report (produced by the Victoria Foundation). It described a city where a “living wage” that keeps up with expenses should be $18.07 per hour, but the minimum wage is only $10.25—and 11.3 percent of people in the region live in poverty and rental costs continue to increase . . . if, at three percent rental availability, you can find a suite available at all.

Economic times are also tight in Brecht’s mythical city of Setzuan when three gods come in search of “one good person.” They are dismayed to find the search is so difficult. After seeking accommodation at many households, wealthy and otherwise, it is at the home of an impoverished young prostitute, Shen Te, that they find good will. However, Shen Te’s troubles really begin after a thank-you gift from the gods places her new-found status, new tobacco shop and her generosity in jeopardy and makes her an easy mark for theft, deceit and corruption. To avoid financial ruin, she re-invents herself as Shui Ta, a shrewd, no-nonsense male cousin to protect her business interests.

“It’s an incredibly clever play,” says Alexandrowicz. “Brecht shows great depth in his understanding of the human condition and the way that different classes operate in a money-centric society.”

Simon Farrow’s set for Good Person of Setzuan (photo: David Lowes)

Alexandrowicz’s vision for the play is mirrored in the set designed by fourth year student Simon Farrow. It is dominated by a large panoramic skyline of a big “anywhere” international city that includes references to Shanghai (World Financial Centre), New York (the waterfront), Johannesburg (the designer’s home town), Kuala Lampur (Petronas Twin Towers), Dubai (Burj Dubai) and Soweto (Orlando Nuclear Towers). Recent MFA grad Bryan Kenney‘s lighting design spotlights the action, including Brecht’s many theatrical asides where the actors philosophize to the audience, and creates amazing coloured evening skies behind the row of skyliners. These corporate towers loom over a downtrodden slum that can magically transform from Shen Te’s tobacco shop, to Sandalmaker’s Lane, to a restaurant’s private dining room.

Some of Kat Jeffery’s costumes for Setzuan (photo: David Lowes)

The costumes for Setzuan’s residents, designed by fourth-year student Kat Jeffery, also have a globalized inspiration, merging Western street style with a sense of Orientalism which seemingly channel the uniform-like style that became synonymous with China’s communist revolution. The three gods, on the other hand, are colourful hybrids of many eastern deities. In a reference to growing corporatization, the Setzuan slum’s characters all sport armbands that promote different international corporate brands.

Third-year student Francis Melling has composed music to accompany Brecht’s song lyrics in the play and is overseeing the music direction. “Francis is incredibly talented,” says Alexandrowicz. “He’s integrated Brecht’s lyrics into contemporary pop music that will have you singing along by the end!”

—Adrienne Holierhoek

Good Person of Setzuan runs November 8 – 24 at the Phoenix Theatre. Evening performances run Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on November 24.

There will be a pre-show lecture by director Conrad Alexandrowicz at 7pm Friday, November 9, where he’ll share his inspiration and ideas around this production. All are welcome no matter which day your tickets are for. (This lecture will be recorded and the audio file posted on our website for your listening pleasure the week following the lecture.)

Celebrating Alan Turing’s legacy through computers and music

Alan Turing

Alan Turing is one of the few people in history to invent a wholly new spiritual idea. As such, he has unquestionably been one of the most influential figures of the last century, and there is no doubt that he will remain so in the future. He is often described as the “father of computer science” and his enduring legacy is recognized with the Turing Award, the Nobel prize of computer science.

If you don’t know much about Turing, saying that he’s well worth a Google search is a massive understatement. The founder of modern computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing was also an acclaimed mathematician, celebrated World War II British codebreaker, philosopher, logician and a persecuted gay man who faced either prison or chemical castration for his lifestyle “crimes.” He committed suicide in 1954 but his vision and legacy far outstripped his own life.

Jaron Lanier

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Music and Computer Science program is hosting acclaimed futurist Jaron Lanier for a special appreciation of Turing’s Spiritual Legacy. Lanier—a computer scientist, composer, visual artist and influential author who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010—is also famed for coining or popularizing the term “virtual reality.” He founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, in the early ’80s and his book You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto was released in 2010.

Lanier’s lecture will offer an appreciation of Turing, as well as a criticism of intellectual and economic events that have been influenced by him. The lecture begins at 8:15pm on Wednesday, November 7, in the School of Music’s Phillip T Young Recital Hall.

But if you’re interested in some of the results that emerged from Turing’s life and works, be sure to catch some of these other lectures on view next week. All are offered by the Music and Computer Science program and all are free.

• David Jaffe (Universal Audio) on “The Library of Babel: Composing, Computing and Creativity.” Jaffe is a musical and technical innovator who developed music software for Steve Jobs at the NeXT computer, co-founded Staccato Systems and is now senior scientist and engineer at UA. Hear him 6:30pm Monday, November 5, in A120 of the Social Sciences and Math Bldg, and 2:30pm Tuesday, November 6, in A168 of the MacLaurin Building.

• Adam Tindale (OCAD U) on “Developing Tools for Contemporary Electronic Music Performance.” Tindale develops new interfaces for musical expression through a combination of physical modeling synthesis, machine listening and learning, and custom hardware development. Hear him at 1:30pm Thursday, November 8, in D114 of the MacLaurin Building, and 11:30am Friday, November 9, in B112 of the Cornett Building.

Soundplane Model A run 2

• Randy Jones (Madrona Labs) on “Soundplane Workshop.” Jones makes instruments and software for computer music performance, and has performed and lectured at festivals including Cimatics (Brussels), MUTEK (Montreal), the Festival de Música Electroacústica (Havana), Decibel (Seattle), and New Forms (Vancouver). He was a co-creator of Jitter, the graphics and matrix processing software, and completed a Masters in Computer Science at UVic in 2010. His talk will offer an informal, hands-on lab to explore the Soundplane and DIY capacitive sensing with Max/MSP. (Bring a vague idea, he’ll try to refine it. Bring a specific idea, he’ll make a patch and move it in the direction of a performance.) Hear him at 3:30pm Thursday, November 8, in D114 of the MacLaurin Building, and 2:30pm  Friday, November 9, in A168 of the MacLaurin Building.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Cage 100 Festival breaks out

Across the globe, the life and work of the late American composer John Cage is being given some extra attention this year as we mark the centenary of the iconic artist. In collaboration with the University of Victoria’s School of Music, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Open Space, the Victoria Symphony dedicates its November New Music Festival to a series of concerts, art exhibitions and special retrospectives celebrating the 100th anniversary of Cage’s birth.

Happy 100th, John Cage!

John Cage’s significant contributions to music, modern dance, writing, critical thinking and visual arts could not possibly be summarized here. His influence, which continues to grow twenty years after his death, has been impressed upon countless artists, from composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Phillip Glass to the more populist likes of Radiohead and veteran producer and musical innovator Brian Eno.

“Music in the twentieth century was changed profoundly by Cage’s life. If you’re a musician, or interested in music, you can try to ignore him, but sooner or later you have to deal with him,” says Cage 100 Festival curator and School of Music professor of composition and theory Christopher Butterfield.

Butterfield was recently interviewed for this extensive Globe and Mail article about Cage. “I think Cage’s whole point is that he wants people to be acutely aware of the kind of aural world or acoustic world around them and to be able to actually, I don’t know, rejoice in the sheer idea of consciousness or of being sensitive to the world, and you don’t need the kind of conventional constructs of music,” Butterfield told G&M arts reporter Marsha Lederman. “It’s much more about a much larger world of sound possibilities than simply the ones put together for people to learn on the piano or the violin or an orchestra or whatever.”

He also talks about not only the festival, but his own experiences meeting Cage in the local Times Colonist: “Once in the 1980s, [Butterfield] and a friend had hoped to greet Cage following a big concert in Toronto, but didn’t get the chance,” writes the TC’s Amy Smart. “They walked up the stairs to a friend’s party in an apartment in the ‘cheap part of town,’ and Cage was the first person they saw. ‘He’d rather be downtown with slightly sketchy people than uptown,’ said Butterfield.”

Cage’s “New River Watercolour” series IV, No. 3, 1988 (watercolour on paper)

Drawing on the artist’s extensive body of work and diverse artistic practices, Victoria’s Cage 100 Festival brings together some of his most famous compositions as well as works too seldom heard or seen—including Cage’s graphic work and a 1987 sound installation, plus film, letters and paintings by people who were part of Cage’s social circle. Works by composers who share Cage’s sense of exploration and wonder will also be featured. “Cage was endlessly inventive, not just in music, but in other forms too,” explains Butterfield.

Cage 100 curator Christopher Butterfield

When crafting the program for the festival, Butterfield wanted to offer a broad yet intimate glimpse into Cage’s world, people he knew, and ideas he espoused. “We were lucky to rely on old friends of Cage’s, who volunteered some extraordinary material.” Devoted Play, which opens at the AGGV on November 8 (and runs to January 5), kicks off the entire festival by bringing together a collection of materials from some of his closest friends and influential figures—including Gordon Mumma, Jasper Johns, Marcel Duchamp, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves and Robert Rauschenberg. That same night, November 8, the sound installation Essay debuts at Open Space (and runs to January 12), featuring Cage himself reading from Henry David Thoreau’s essay “On Civil Disobedience.”

On Friday, November 16 at 12:30pm, the UVic Percussion Ensemble—under the direction of Bill Linwood—will perform works by Cage (1939’s First Construction in Metal and 1941’s Third Construction) and Linda Caitlin Smith (Blue Sky). Later that same day, UVic’s Sonic Lab hosts an evening of Cage’s music starting at 5pm with a School of Music-wide fanfare performance of 1967’s Musicircus, followed by a concert at 8pm (including 1957’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra, 1973’s Etcetera and 1983’s Ryoanji). All events take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall and admission is by donation.

From left: David Tudor, John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow in Nancarrow’s Mexico City studio, 1968 (photo: Gordon Mumma)

Additional Cage 100 Festival programming includes a concert with the Victoria Symphony on November 17 at the Alix Goolden Hall (including Cage’s 1947’s 4’33”, 1947’s The Seasons and 1950’s Concerto for Prepared Piano, plus works by others), and on November 18 at the AGGV with the Emily Carr String Quartet (1950’s String Quartet in Four Parts, plus works by others). Talks and discussions will take place at Open Space on November 19 (on Cage and anarchism, featuring History in Art professor Allan Antliff and Andrew Culver, Cage’s assistant in the 1980s) and the AGGV on November 22 (featuring Cage collaborator Gordon Mumma).

Finally, Cage 100 Fest curator Christopher Butterfield recently spoke with CFUV’s Phoenix Bain about the festival. Listen to that interview here.

And for information on both local and international Cage-related events, or more about John Cage’s life and legacy itself, check out the official Cage website.

—with files from Kristy Farkas