A new release on New York-based Mode Records captures the musical strengths of faculty percussionist Bonnie Whiting, who presents the work—John Cage's 51'15.657" for a speaking percussionist—in performance April 29 at the School of Music.
51'15.657" for a speaking percussionist is Bonnie Whiting's realization of a solo simultaneous performance of John Cage's 45' for a speaker and 27'10.554" for a percussionist. “These are vintage pieces,” Whiting says, “music from the mid-50's and part of a series of timed works that Cage enjoyed mixing together and referred to in notes and letters as ‘the ten thousand things.’”
A culmination of 14 months of work and study, Whiting's version is the first to feature one performer executing both pieces in their entirety. “Cage subjected several of his lectures to chance procedures, and the result is his quirky and imaginative 45' for a speaker,” she says. Whiting’s version of Cage's percussion score is a fusion of traditional percussion instruments and found-objects.
The performance, 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 in Brechemin Auditorium, celebrates Whiting's debut on the Mode Records label. Admission is free. More details are available here.