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Special event - Andrew Culver - On the Duty of Experiencing John Cage's Essay

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This seminar -an AES initiative supported by CIRMMT- will be followed by a reception.

  • Special Event
When Mar 10, 2016
from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where MMR, Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke Street West.
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John Cage produced thousands of groundbreaking artworks in many media, but only one sound installation. “Writings through the Essay: On the Duty of Civil Disobedience”  had a long and elaborate coming into being, one wherein Andrew Culver played a significant part at each step of the way. Culver will review Cage's creation of the 18 mesostic poems that are the basis of the composition; Cage’s subsequent vocal performance of them and their recording; the early computer processing that de- and then re-constructed the audio material into 36 mono tracks; the design of the audio installation; the design of the chairs and lighting that accompany most installations; the chance operations that played a part throughout; and the extensive digital and analogue processing that Culver applied to the 36 tracks during a restoration effort late in 2015. Essay (the short form title) was first presented at Documenta 8 in Kasel, 1987, and most recently at M+ museum in Hong Kong last December. There has been a permanent exhibition in Bremen since 1999, and another will open in Hong Kong in 2019. The presentation will include a unique opportunity to listen to Essay through McGill’s 16-sphere sound system that is part of the McGill's Virtual Acoustics Technology (VAT) system installed in the Multimedia Room of the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building at McGill University.

About Andrew Culver                          

Andrew Culver is a composer, sound installation artist, sound sculptor, film-maker, lighting designer, essayist, and former musical journalist. He worked daily for for 11 years as John Cage’s creative assistant. Culver was a founding member of SONDE, the music design and performance ensemble of Montreal. He studied composition at McGill University with Bengt Hambraeus and John Rea; electronic music with Alcides Lanza; music design with Mario Bertoncini; and sound recording with Wieslaw Woszczyk. Culver founded iLiv Technologies in 2005 to conceptualize and create a new way to manage collaborative projects, through software that is based on the processes of an unconducted orchestra. He lives and works with his wife Karen Tucker in Pointe-au-Pic, Québec.
















Photo credit: Karen Tucker

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