Album: Tania Chen, John Cage: Music of Changes (Knitted)

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The Independent Culture

The solo piano piece Music of Changes is one of John Cage's most exacting works, for performer and listener alike.

Its composition involved copious consultation of the I Ching regarding sounds, tempi, durations, silences, densities and so on, to minimise aesthetic convention even at the subconscious level. The result is a complex, detailed work in which an aleatory jumble of phrases tumble one after another, punctuated by brief but pregnant pauses. Realised here with studious application by Tania Chen, the constantly changing topography of piquant phrases and longer sequences never allows one to slip into a comfort zone of expectation – although there is an overall equilibrium akin to a Calder mobile.

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