Alain Michon

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Atlas Ecliptical(Edit)

Cartridge Music (1960) with Atlas eclipticalis (1962) and Winter Music (1957)
extrait de Atlas Eclipticalis N°3

First performance at the Proms(Edit)

One interesting consequence of Cage's employment of indeterminacy as a compositional tool is that a substantial number of his works from the 1950s and 1960s may, if desired, be performed simultaneously. This is certainly the case for Cartridge Music, Atlas eclipticalis and Winter Music, as well as for the contemporaneous vocal Aria (which is often paired with either Fontana Mix of 1958 or the Concert for Piano and Orchestra of 1957—8). The aural results of such simultaneous performances tend towards timbrally striking, and highly unpredictable, collage. 
Both Atlas eclipticalis and Winter Music are related to the aforementioned Concert: Winter Music (for one to 20 pianists) was written immediately prior to it and, although notationally less complex, shares many of its interpretational flexibilities. The work's 20 pages may be played in whole or in part; each contains a collection of chords whose positions were determined by observing imperfections in the manuscript paper. The deployment of treble and bass clefs is highly (and deliberately) ambiguous and requires the performer(s) to make specific decisions as to the pitch content of the chords. Durations are not specified. 
Atlas eclipticalis was conceived as an instrumental counterpart to Winter Music and its notations are clearly influenced by some of those found inConcert. Commissioned by the Montreal Festival Society, it has suffered more than most of Cage's works from undisciplined performances, most infamously that given in 1964 by the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein (who was forced to castigate the players for their unprofessional behaviour). The notations for Atlas were derived from 32 astronomical charts and the piece has parts for up to 86 orchestral instruments. The function of the conductor, as withConcert, is to indicate the passing of time (which Cage states should be 'at least twice as slow as clock time') by slowly revolving his arms. 
The instruments used in Atlas eclipticalis may, if desired, be amplified through the use of contact microphones. In this use of early electronic technology the work is thus linked with Cartridge Music; and, like Fontana Mix, Cartridge Music has a dual function. On one level it can be used simply as a way of creating performances, in this case by inserting objects into the 'cartridges' of record players: by touching the inserted objects, sounds are made, registered by the cartridges and amplified through loudspeakers. On another level, the score materials of the work can be used to control the outputs of up to 20 amplified instruments. 
Programme note: David Nicholls
Cartridge Music (1960) with Atlas eclipticalis (1962) and Winter Music (1957)
Les partitions de l'Atlas ont été tirés à partir de 32 cartes astronomiques et la pièce a des parties pouvant accueillir jusqu'à 86 instruments de l'orchestre . La fonction du conducteur , comme withConcert , est d'indiquer le passage du temps ( Cage note : devrait être «au moins deux fois plus lent que le temps de l'horloge ») en faisant tourner lentement ses bras.
Une conséquence intéressante de l'indétermination chez J.Cage en tant qu'outil de composition est qu'un nombre important de ses œuvres des années 1950 et 1960 peuvent s'il le souhaite, être effectuée simultanément . C'est certainement le cas pour Cartridge Music, Atlas Eclipticalis et Winter Music , ainsi que pour l' Aria vocal contemporain (qui est souvent jumelé avec soit Fontana Mix de 1958 ou le Concert pour piano et orchestre de 1957-8 ) . Les résultats de ces performances sonores simultanés tendent vers un collage timbral frappant, et très imprévisible .
Les instruments utilisés dans l'Atlas Eclipticalis peuvent , s'il le souhaite, être amplifiés par l'utilisation de microphones de contact et contrôler les sorties de jusqu'à 20 instruments amplifiés.

John Cage conférence sur rien de EVE Couturier.

Last changed (French time): 2014/04/15 10:48