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An Alphabet and Themes and Variations. Following the interviews is the score to Cage’s MUSHROOMS et Variationes. Thispiece, which waswritten with the aid ofa “mesostic-intelligentwordprocessor” in the manner of Themes and Variations, consists of mesostics that are spoken aloud on the Latin names of 12 mushrooms . The interviewwith Robert Ashley,who is perhaps the greatest innovator in contemporary opera, is especiallyprovocative . Ashley discussesthe role of music in altering states of consciousness, his experienceof musicasakind ofdaydream, his ideal relationship between physical comfort and musical experience (“My idea of music is to jump in bed, with whatever you like to be in bed with, drinks and whatever, there’s the TV, the music is coming out of the TV, and you watch it for sixhours,or three hours. You can’t do that in a concert hall or on records”), how performers can and should change during performance, and much more. Following the interviewis an introduction and text to “IMPROVEMENT (DON LEAVES LINDA)”, the first part of theoperaNow Eleanor’sIdea. This opera is the third in a trilogy that includes Atalanta and Perfect Lives. The interview with Yoko Ono helps to explain an easily misunderstood artist. Following the interview are texts for a number of her songs. The interview with performance artist Laurie Anderson is a transcript of an onstage conversation with Charles Amirkhanian. It revealsmore of thelively mind familiar to those who have seen her pieces. Lyrics to her songs-with some graphics by Anderson-follow. As a composer, Charles Amirkhanian “refusesto usepitches”. Hiscompositions exploit the verbal, using tongue, lips, cheek and glottis to magnificent effect. His interview tells much not only about his life and work but also about the historyand development of sound poetry. This section includes texts to several of his pieces. (Note to all readers: be sure to get four people together to perform “Jigolo cheese”, a piecefor fourspeaking voices; this alone is guaranteed to be worth the price of admission!) Michael Peppe is a serious man with a dim view of much that is going on it today’s world. In his interview, he deals with such issues as extinction, the “schizophrienticparanoia of humanism”, and the fact that “people’s emotions are as flat as TV screens because people have basically become spectators in their own lives”. The section includes an introduction to and the beginning of his composition Actmusikspectakle V, a 2%hour work for solo performer. This composition, in Peppe’s words, is “based on the concept that all possible behavior is musicallycomposable”. It also includes an essay by Peppe, entitled “Why our art is so bad”, which is guaranteed to provoke a reaction. Finally, there is K. Atchley, whose brief interview reveals little, but whose pieceEdison’sLast Project(ion)is perhaps the most provocative of any in the book. It is concerned with four recurring dreams of Thomas Edison and must be seen (much is in the form of illustrated cards) to be fully appreciated. The book is a delight to look at. It is beautifully designed and illustrated, printed on acid-free paper and sewn in signatures. The price of the book, while high, is easily justified by the book’s excellent contentand workmanship. This is a boo,kthat will endure, and I heartily recommend it to anyone concerned with new music, performance art or the nature of artistic creation. ART P.O. Box2820,Beijing,People’sRepublic of China; Editorial office: 52 East 48 Road, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Published monthly; PRC currency 1.20 per issue. Reviewedby MakejwaceTsao,533Antioch Drive, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. The April issue of Art (No. 4, 1987, publication no. 8027-0934), a monthly journal published in Beijing,contained a leading article, written by “Reporter of this publication”, entitled “The Editorial Department of This Publication Called a Conference. Discussions on the Situation of the Art Community and Improvement of Editorial Work”. Thefirst paragraph stated the natureof the conference: Under the new situation, in order to better executethe Party’s ‘letahundred flowers bloom simultaneously, let a hundred birds sing in competition’ policy for literature and. art and its steadfast direction ‘for the service of people, for the serviceof socialism’,and to broadly...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 463-464
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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