I have just finished a suite for toy piano, the first concert work I have been able to complete in many years. I am dedicating the work to John Cage, in honor of his centennial next year. Cage wrote the first concert piece for toy piano, and that is one reason I am dedicating my work to him.
More importantly, Cage’s philosophies and his compositions have become increasingly meaningful to me in recent years. As a further homage to him, I decided to select the title of my work and its five movements by randomly picking pages from Cage’s first collection of essays, Silence, and counting words down that page. I used this random number generator to select pages and the number of words I needed to count to reach my “target” titles. The title for my composition produced by this random method (plus a little editing on my part): Anything Therefore is a Delight.
For the last movement, I had to go to p. 141 in Silence and count in 75 words.
That page in my copy is entirely blank!
The only words on the page are from the footer which notes the chapter of Silence: “Lecture on Something”
My solution? The movement will be called: [ ], or Something.
Update one year later: I’ve uploaded video performances of the five different movements of Anything Therefore is a Delight on Youtube. Below you can listen and watch one possible realization (out of many) of my suite. There are six separate videos, so if you want to hear the complete work, let the videos play until the end.
For a copy of the score, click here.
Read about the premiere, see a video excerpt, and learn what devious notions slithered through my cerebrum as I composed this work. All you have to do is click this.