The Graphic Details

graphic-score.jpgKate Taylor reports for The Sun on a new exhibition of graphic music scores at The Kitchen.

It’s kind of hilarious that the beginning of the article is basically like, the creators of the exhibition decided not to include John Cage. Then she goes on for two pages about John Cage. And rightly so. He is the grand daddy of American conceptual music and graphic notation.

There’s a lot to distrust about this kind of musical work. It can get pretty pretentious, pretty fast. Case in point, Joan La Barbara’s comments:

“I tend to see sound in my mind,” she said. “It’s like seeing a visual gesture and then shaping the sound, almost like painting with my voice. If you could think of the voice as being the paint, and my breath is the brush, and it’s sculpting the paint and putting it onto a time canvas.”

And the time canvas is your face.

There also seems to be a hint of 60’s nostalgia to the whole affair. Or perhaps The Kitchen itself is a bastion to the fruits of that era. Either way, the one thing we can clearly see about Cage, in retrospect, is that he was fiercely serious and genuine about what he was doing.


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