PRANA performs John Cage 4’33” this Friday 8/29 at WAAM at 6 PM


John Cage

John Cage

Friday, Aug 29, 6 pm John Cage‘s 4’33” 62nd Anniversary Performance performed by Baird Hersey and PRANA

Followed by a Q&A with Cage biographer Kay Larson, and a brief performance of two of PRANA’s own pieces


4’33” was composed in 1952 for “any instrument (or combination of instruments), and the score instructs the performer not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece.” It is an enormously influential piece in the world of art and is considered by many to be the perfect minimalist creation. Its world premier was in Woodstock on August 29, 1952, presented by The Woodstock Artists Association at the Maverick Concert Hall. This will be the 62nd anniversary of that performance.


Baird Hersey and PRANA

Baird Hersey and PRANA

Baird Hersey and PRANA

The age old sacred music of Tibetan Buddhist multiphonic chant and Tuvan throat singing are the roots from which PRANA’s sound has grown. The technique of these ancient vocalizations is to shape the mouth and throat into a sympathetic resonating chamber for the voice. This produces a second beautiful high whistling harmonic or overtone. PRANA’s singers use their regular singing voice instead of the low gravely drone characteristic of the Tibetan and Tuvan sounds. They apply the fundamental overtone techniques of these older traditions to the “natural voice” to sing two mellifluous pitches at once. Singing as a group in this unique style they create beautiful rising harmonies, shimmering vocal textures, and high arcing melodies.

Kay Larson

Author of Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists, Kay Larson is an acclaimed art critic, columnist, and editor. She began her career in journalism in Cambridge, Massachusetts at The Real Paper, then served as an associate editor at Artnews and an art critic for the Village Voice. She was the art critic for New York Magazine for 14 years, and has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times. In 1994, she entered Zen practice at a Buddhist monastery in upstate New York. We are thrilled that she’s agreed to speak at the concert.http://wheretheheartbeatsbook. com/

Norm Magnusson,

who is producing this concert, saw it performed years ago by composer, percussionist, and avant-guardian David Van Tieghem and recounts that he was “surprised at how deeply moved he was by the purity of the work.” He adds: “4’33”, on one level, seems to be as close to artistic perfection as an artist can get.” After hearing it performed, Magnusson researched the piece, discovered that it had debuted in Woodstock, and decided to put on an anniversary concert. This year’s concert marks the fourth year in a row the anniversary has been celebrated at WAAM.

This is a very popular and well attended event so do come in good time to get a seat.

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