100 Waltzes for John Cage
100 Waltzes for John Cage is a randomly-evolving soundscape made up of 9 transient iPad-equipped musicians, 100 waltzes, quad speakers & audio from 147 New York City locations in a sublime expression of "the 10,000 things".
The work, by composer Kevin James, is modeled on the techniques of 49 Waltzes for the 5 Boroughs - specifically the use of the I-Ching to randomly select 147 locations in New York City. However, in James' version the 64 hexagram possibilities correlate to the minutes and seconds of GPS locations (instead of grid marks in a Hagstrom Map book) and recordings of the ambient natural (or unnatural) environment are made at each of those locations. In performance these ambient sounds are delivered through quad speakers placed at the corners of the performance space. The length of each sample, the entrance time of the following sample and the pair of speakers delivering the sound are all completely randomized.
The "100 Waltzes" referred to in the title are divided among the 9 musicians through similar methods of randomization - page number, staff number and number of bars from a given sample are chosen through the I-Ching. The length of time the performer spends on a given waltz, where they sit in relation to the other performers, when they move to a new seat, when and whether they are allowed to improvise, are all determined randomly through programming on their iPad music stands.
The DiMenna Center Mary Flagler Cary Hall (lower level) (View)
450 W. 37th St
New York, NY 10018