A Guided Meditation with John Cage
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Austin’s new and modern music ensemble Auricle Chamber performs an entire concert of works by John Cage. Program will feature instrumental compositions and recitation of selections from John Cage’s lectures “Silence,” “Empty Words,” “A Year from Monday” and others with improvised musical accompaniment. The ordering of works and selection of music and lectures will be determined by chance operations at the start of each day’s performance.
John Cage was heavily influenced by the Buddhist teachings of D.T. Suzuki. Suzuki considered meditation to be an active practice; individuals ought to engage meditation in their daily lives through acts of creation, repetition and manual labor. Cage himself viewed the act of composing as a practice of meditation as well as the act of listening, hence the oftentimes sustained, pointed and sparse textures in his work. Rather than retreating from the senses, Suzuki’s style of meditation engages a hyper-focused attention to the richness of perception.
It is recommended that attendees treat this concert as a meditation, although this is not necessary. If you already practice meditation, please feel free to bring any materials or objects that you would normally use. Outdoor blankets are recommended, as there will be space to sit on the floor (don’t worry there’ll be regular seating too). You may meditate, or you may listen, or you may fidget productively.
"If among you are those who wish to get somewhere, let them leave at any moment. What we re-quire is silence; but what silence requires is that I go on talking."