I'm often troubled by the fact that the piano seems so rooted in 18th and 19th century concert repertoire that it lacks an archetypal sound; other instruments can trace their
pre-classical, ritualistic roots by returning to gypsy music or processional music. Doing something as prosaic as visiting an old-fashioned hardware shop and fidddling with various nuts and bolts transports the piano back in time.
For years I didn't know how to cope with Cage; he seemed so mysterious compared to the practical inventiveness of Cowell, quietly humorous compared to the anarchic bombast of Ives, and elusively philosophical compared to the logical drive of Nancarrow. Meeting Lou Harrison at Dartington three summers ago slowly began to prise open the lid; and being asked to play Cage's Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra with the Sinfonietta a year later finally brought me face to face in a big way. Cick here for more information about this CD

"...noises delight me; each one of them interests me; and time interests me". John Cage

So I decided to make a large John Cage recording project around Sonatas and Interludes and The Perilous Night; pieces where one senses both the light and dark of John Cage's world, the gentle tranquillity (and occasional grandness) of Sonatas set against the tormented underbelly of Perilous Night.
I wanted to draw in a large group of fellow musicians to write for exactly the same preparation as the Sonatas plus tape (which could be anything - New York traffic, silence, voices, magic mushrooms) by way of response to Cage's work.

Perilous Night

Sonatas and Interludes
and beyond

Joanna MacGregor: prepared piano
produced by James Mallinson and Joanna MacGregor



QuickTime sample 260k

Excerpt from Sonata No.5 - John Cage

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