Thursday, October 30, 2008

Commentary on the Vox Arcana Performance

In class we talked of how someone once recognized Cage and told him how he had seen him in the game show displaying his knowledge of mushrooms and in his performance of Water Walk. The man told Cage he was a genius, but he should really just stick to mushrooms. I love the fact that Cage took no offense and thought this was hilarious. I guess that is the type of attitude one must have when delving into the unfamiliar territory of experimental music. Within the group Vox Arcana, I noticed the same sort of attitude amongst the members. The clarinet player even mentioned how they could play music that everyone wanted to hear, but that is not the purpose of their band. The band members accepted that not all people enjoy their music, but like Cage they took no offense. This is what prompted me to ask my question about whether or not they tried to incorporate humor into their performances as Cage did in Water Walk. From Tim Daisy’s easy-going personality, I felt comfortable that it would not be taken offensively. Tim Daisy said that he understood that some things in the performance, like his facial expressions and movements, were funny and that it is okay to laugh if one finds something funny. This way in which the group interacted with the audience very much reminded me of how Cage wanted people to react to his performances.

The thing I found most interesting is how the music varied from the morning to the evening performance. If Tim Daisy hadn’t introduced the piece with the Croatian title at the evening performance, I would not have thought that it was the same song we heard in the morning. I could pick up some familiarity when they played the little repetitive tune that, I assume, was specifically written in the music; but the parts of improvisation were so incredibly different. Vox Arcana’s music was very Cageian in that every performance was different.

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