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Contributed by Sara Haefeli on 12/21/2012
Sara Haefeli presents an illustrated history, "Reflections on the New York School at John Cage's Centenary" at the Nuit d'Hiver Festival in Marseille, France.
The Nuit d'Hiver festival is an annual festival hosted by Le GRIM (Groupe de recherche et d'improvisation musicales de Marseille) and directed by guitarist Jean-Marc Montera. GRIM hosts between 40 and 60 concerts each year, in addition to lectures, workshops, and special events. GRIM is devoted to promoting experimental music, visual art and video.
The week-long festival celebrated John Cage's 100th birthday this year and featured works by Cage as well as works by composers inspired by Cage. The culminating event of the festival features the last living member of the so-called "New York School," Christian Wolff, performing his own music.
Haefeli opens the evening program with an illustrated history of the New York School and their connection to the Abstract Expressionists from the mid-twentieth century. Musicologists apply the term "New York School" to a group of composers, including John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff and David Tudor, who shared many aesthetic values, and in some cases formed deep friendships. While it is tempting to view the music of Cage, Feldman, Brown, and Wolff as a collective, cohesive body of work, there are profound and important differences between these composers, their musical languages, and the political implications embedded in their musical practices.
For more information on the festival: GRIM Nuit d'Hiver