Sonatas and Interludes is a collection of twenty pieces for prepared
piano by American avant-garde composer John Cage (pictured). Forty-five
notes are prepared, using screws, nuts, bolts, pieces of rubber and
plastic, and an eraser. The pieces were composed between February 1946
and March 1948, shortly after Cage's introduction to Indian philosophy
and the teachings of art historian Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, both of which
became major influences on the composer's later work. Significantly more
complex than his other works for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes
is generally recognized as one of Cage's finest achievements. The cycle
consists of sixteen sonatas and four more freely structured interludes.
The aim of the pieces is to express the eight permanent emotions of the
rasa Indian tradition. In Sonatas and Interludes, Cage elevated his
technique of rhythmic proportions to a new level of complexity. In each
sonata a short sequence of natural numbers and fractions defines the
structure of the work and that of its parts, informing structures as
localized as individual melodic lines. Cage dedicated the work to Maro
Ajemian, a pianist and friend, who performed it many times.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonatas_and_Interludes>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Manchu regent Dorgon defeated rebel leader Li Zicheng of the
Shun dynasty at the Battle of Shanhai Pass, allowing the Manchus to
enter and conquer the capital city of Beijing.
War of the Second Coalition: Austrian forces defeated the
French and captured the strategically important town of Winterthur,
The first group of the Dorsland Trek, a series of explorations
undertaken by Boers in search of political independence and better
living conditions, departed South Africa for Angola.
Standing at 319 metres (1,047 ft), New York City's Chrysler
Building opened as the world's tallest building before it was surpassed
by the Empire State Building 11 months later.
A massive explosion at an illegal fireworks factory near
Benton, Tennessee, US, killed eleven people and caused damage within a
radius of several miles.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Capable of reducing the sex drive.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
￼ I am anti-entropy. My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend
my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup
boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous;
I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a
combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and
raise hell. From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage
will say of my work, "He only wrote that to shock." I smile and nod.
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