102

  (2014)

Synopsis

For John Cage on the occasion of what would have been his 102nd birthday.

This work is no. 54 in the 100 Poems project.

102 is a setting of E. E. Cummings’ “wherelings whenlings,” which Cage himself set for voice and percussion duo as Forever and Sunsmell.

Taking a cue from Cage’s own “Number Pieces,” this work uses time-bracket notation plus random number generators to determinate where within the duration of the piece (55’30”) each word will appear. he placement of words in time is different for each part and the number generators were used in such a way that one might be instructed to speak one word every 30-second time-bracket or the entire poem within a single 30-second bracket (both of these possibilities do, in fact, occur at least once.) The total effect of the piece is an overwhelming, undulating mass of sound.