Category Archives: free form

And now, a brief intermission…

(Thanks to BoingBoing) – Christopher DeLaurenti records performances that most people leave the concert hall for – the collection of sounds that occur during intermissions.

For over seven years, DeLaurenti would attend concert performances donned in a leather vest with micophones sewn into it. At intermission, he would approach the stage to collect the sounds that happened between performances. With over 50 hours of recordings in his catalog, he has now released a CD of “greatest hits,” titled Favorite Intermissions: Music Before and Between Beethoven, Stravinsky, Holst.” From a New York Times article:

The first number, “Holst, Hitherto,” comes from an intermission before a performance of Holst’s “Planets.” It opens with an audience murmur and a clarinet flourish, then a few quiet whumps from a bass drum and a repeated glockenspiel note. A woman laughs. A man says, “Excuse me.” Snare-drum rolls swell, a tambourine shimmers, the timpani thud, a xylophonist plays. (The intermission music seems heavy on percussionists, maybe because they tend to practice so obsessively.)

Then beefy bassoon notes swirl, and a trombone plays exercises in different keys. Soon snatches of melodies from “The Planets” are recognizable. The volume of instruments and crowd noises grows at a steady pace, until a burst of applause greeting the concertmaster quiets everything down. The oboe sounds its tuning A, finally uniting all the instruments. Silence erupts. Mr. DeLaurenti’s first piece ends.

The CD cover for Favorite Intermissions spoofs the well-known Deutsche Grammophon label design, and is released on a label called GD Stereo – which DeLaurenti called a “delicious irony.”

He hopes that his work will inspire others to listen for music at times when they would usually walk away.

“I feel I will have succeeded,” Mr. DeLaurenti said, “if someone merely looks at the package and says, ‘Oh, I should listen next time at intermission and see if I hear something musical.’ ”

Links: NYT article | DeLaurenti’s website


Classic John Cage performance

(courtesy of boing boing and WFMU) – John Cage performs “Water Walk” on this classic 1960 clip from the gameshow “I’ve Got A Secret.” Instruments used in this piece include a prepared piano, four radios, a bathtub, water pitcher, pressure cooker, seltzer bottle, a rubber duck, and much more.

My favorite part of the pre-interview would have to be when host Garry Moore (no, not THAT Gary Moore) asks: “Mr. Cage, these are nice people but some of them are going to laugh. Is that alright?”

Cage’s response: “Of course. I consider laughter preferable to tears.”

Click here to watch it on YouTube, or visit WFMU’s entry to download the video and watch it over and over (like I’ve been doing).