Gloriette for John Cage

for mechanical organ

Gloriette for John Cage is a four minute algorithmic composition for mechanical organ written in honor of John Cage, who died in 1992. The work was composed for the Busy Drone organ at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The Busy Drone organ reads a large cardboard score that functions like a piano roll, except that the size and weight of the cardboard score restricts the mechanical organ to playing pieces that last only a few minutes in duration. Keep in mind as you listen to the piece that every note you hear was punched into heavy cardboard sheets by hand! In keeping with the late composer's interest in aleatoric music, the main algorithm in the work uses chance processes in which the likelihood of the musical notes C A G E occurring out of a background of G dorian gradually increases as a function of time, causing the composer's name to slowly emerge to the forefront. The rhythmic mensuration and number of voices are similarly inspired by the composer's name.

Gloriette for John Cage was composed using Common Music, a software environment for music composition developed by the composer at the Zentrum för Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe, Germany. It is included on the CD The Busy Drone as well as in the Computer Music Journal Sound Anthology, Volume 19, 1995.


Last modified: Tue Mar 18 09:06:05 CDT 2014