Although composer JOHN CAGE is best known for 4'33" of silence, he could raise a ruckus when the mood struck. After all, even the calmest, most optimistic person can feel the need to shout or, at the very least, write a really loud piece. Cage wrote Lecture on the Weather, which will be performed this Tuesday by the CALLITHUMPIAN CONSORT, in honor of the American Bicentennial. The piece starts quietly enough, with individual voices intoning fragmentary passages from Thoreau, but then it erupts into a whirlwind of sound featuring deafening recordings of storms made by Maryanne Amarcher.
"I think when I heard the American premiere over at Sanders Theatre, the people at Harvard borrowed Aerosmith's sound system," says STEPHEN DRURY, Callithumpian's artistic director. Lecture is one of Cage's most overtly political works, and in its preface he is pointedly critical of the US government. "While a new president was not what Cage had in mind, I think it's safe to say that the last eight years are a very good example of what he was railing against. At the very least, this piece is about wiping the slate clean."
Oh, and to prepare your delicate ears for this onslaught, you can do a little pre-emptive listening with the bracing guitar duo of THURSTON MOORE (yes, of Sonic Youth fame) and BILL NACE. Moore's name may be the one that lights up the marquee, but the young Nace — a veteran of the amazing Vampire Belt — is no slouch. They're part of a bill at the Milky Way featuring all manner of avant-rock strangeness from Western Mass.
THE CALLITHUMPIAN CONSORT | Cage + Andriessen + Zimmermann + Barroso + Heiss | Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston | January 27 at 8 pm | free | 617.585.1260 orwww.newenglandconservatory.edu | NORTHAMPTON WOOLS + FAT WORM OF ERROR + TARP + GREY SKULL + PAK | Milky Way, 403-405 Centre St, Jamaica Plain | January 25 at 9 pm | free | 617.524.3740 orwww.milkywayjp.com
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