13 February 2011



On January 29th ("Birth of a Union"), I mentioned John Cage's idea of trying to remove a composer's ego from the act of composition. Despite my own knee-jerk reactions to that idea, I have often felt a desire to explore it and see what fruit it might bear. So in this case, what you hear is as close as I've ever come to fully removing myself from the composition process. I sat down with cellist extraordinaire Tina Guo, discussed a vague concept of memory, played a few random chords for her on my piano, then switched on the mic and told her to play. The sheet music I presented was completely blank except it said "memory" and suggested a key of b-minor (which I felt lent itself towards the sort of nostalgic quality I had in mind). Here are the results of Tina's improvisation, unfettered by my pesky "composer's ego."

Following the same idea, I removed myself entirely from this photo. This photo credit goes to our friend Patrick Henthorn. I gave him the one word "memory" and asked for a photo. This is Caesar, a loyal family cat for years. This is in honor and memory of him.

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