Cage: In A Landscape


About Cage: In A Landscape


1(=afl).1.1.1 / / perc. / strings

Program note

One day I was driving home from my morning teaching and thought “man, John Cage’s In A Landscape would be great for small orchestra. You’d be able to separate out all the great melodic lines that often get lost in the haze of beautiful arpeggios and resonance. Someone must have done that.”

I did some googling and nobody had, so I emailed the Cage Foundation that day and asked if it would be okay. They were enthusiastic about the idea. I spread out the pages on a table and circled what instrument would play what, then promptly left for a weekend at Big Bear Lake for a friend’s birthday. The idea was kicking me so hard in the head the next morning that I decided to skip hiking and sit in our rented cabin and compose all day. I missed their phone calls asking what I wanted for lunch and also missed lunch, but finished the first draft in one hungry sitting.

My teachers Joel Feigin and Andrew Tholl had some very helpful insights into how the strings might emulate the harmonic resonance of the piano, and I’m very thankful to both of them.