• John Cage
  • Etcetera (1973)

  • Henmar Press, Inc. (World)
  •——6Perc—2Pf—Str (—Tape
  • 30 min

Programme Note

This work was originally used as music for the choreographed piece by Merce Cunningham entitled Un Jour ou Deux, with stage decors and costume design by Jasper Johns. Parts are provided for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, tuba, strings, 6 percussionists, and 2 pianos, although it is indicated that substitutions, additions, and subtractions may be made. The musicians begin playing without conductor and move at will to one of three stations, each provided with two, three, or four chairs. When a station becomes fully occupied, the conductor for that station starts beating time. Pitch and rhythm are not specified, but rhythm is notated in space, to be read horizontally. Dynamics are notated conventionally. The conductors 'scores' are without notes, but contain metrical structures. In addition to playing their own instruments, each ensemble member also plays by tapping on non-resonant cardboard boxes, the resulting sounds resembling the rustling of leaves and the patter of raindrops. Thus, this work refers as well to Cage’s environmental pieces, i.e. Branches and Child of Tree. The tape employed for this work contains the sounds of birds, wind, and distant traffic, and was recorded by David Behrman.