Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Various – Chicago '82: A Dip in the Lake

"So that each person is in charge of himself"
Peter Gordon with David van Tieghem, Jill Kroesen, Robert Ashley
Jill Kroesen
Harold Budd
Jon Gibson
Meredith Monk
Nicky Paraiso, Steve Lockwood, Andrea Goodman, Paul Langland, Robert Een
Charlemagne Palestine
Michael Byron
David van Tieghem
Glenn Branca with Stefan Wischert,Barbara Ess, Craig Bromberg, David Linton, David Rosenbloom, Jeffrey Glenn, Lee Ranaldo, Ned Sublette, Thurston Moore
John Cage / Wim Mertens
Ned Sublette 

A Dip in the Lake—Ten Quick Steps, Sixty-one Waltzes and Fifty-six Marches for Chicago and Vicinity (1978) initially came about as a request from Chicago Magazine and composer Raymond Wilding-White, in 1976. The graphic score (a map of Chicago with superimposed coordinates) now resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The actual street intersections are published by Henmar Press.

We decided to house this area premiere in the SS Clipper. Therefore, the environmental sounds from the specified intersections were recorded on magnetic tape. To manage the playback of these sounds, John suggested that I follow the instructions to Rozart Mix (a tape collage written for Alvin Lucier and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, 1965). The directions indicate that we make tape loops after cutting the recorded tapes into numerous pieces of varying lengths (from tiny fragments up to five inches). Then:
Splicing together ignorantly sometimes not , or, but , etc. Make only a few shortest viable lengths, make some very long—and all lengths in between, perhaps determining lengths by chance. There should be at least as many loops as there are keys on a piano. *

I used the I Ching to determine the lengths of the loops between ten inches and thirty feet, and we assembled them at a tape-splicing party. They are to be played simultaneously on at least twelve portable tape machines, each with a built in loudspeaker. One operator per machine maintains, repairs, and exchanges the loops, while present at an assigned station on the boat. The audience is encouraged to move about from station to station in order to experience the variety of sound collages.

A Dip in the Lake, like the first of the city pieces, 49 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs (1977) can be transcribed for other cities by assembling new lists of local addresses.

-John Cage