17 April, 8pm
(BBC broadcast 26 April)
Cage's Cartridge Music
The word 'Cartridge' refers to the cartridge of old phonographic pick-ups, where one can put needle into the apertures. In 'Cartridge Music' one inserts all kinds of small objects into the cartridges, such as pipe-cleaners, matches, feathers, wires etc. Furniture is used as well, with contact microphones connected to them. By physically handling all these objects, they invented a spontaneous, indeterminate, form of musique concrète.
Notwithstanding Cage's graphic instructions to focus the performers on their task, the procedures produce mostly minuscule percussive sounds that resemble incidental activity more than music-making.
It is an aesthetic of softness and coolness, of open spaces and sounds framed in silence, of noises and irregular rhythms that somehow end up seeming the most natural things in the world.