January 16 – John Cage finishes ‘Williams Mix’

1953


Page of score

Tape Music
After a year of assembly, US experimental musician John Cage finishes splicing the Williams Mix.
 
Financed by architect Paul Williams, Cage wrote a 192-page ‘cut tape’ score (with the help of the I Ching). It takes a year to record and assemble hundreds of sounds (today they’re called samples) on tape, then they have to be spliced into multiple reels of tape.
 
Some of the sounds are created by Louis and Bebe Barron. Composers Earle Brown and David Tudor assisted the assembly. The octophonic score is realized with an 8-speaker performance, 4 minutes and 15 seconds long, on Mar. 21, 1953 at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
 
(*)(*) SF Tape Music Festival.  ( CAGE database fansite
 Composer gallery  ( Tudor fansite

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