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Celebrate John Cage's 102nd Birthday By "Conducting" 1,000 Music Performances Simultaneously

In the 60s, the experimental legend would gather countless artists to perform in the same space. "An Aldeburgh Musicircus" recreates the experience and lets you explore and "remix" the cacophony online.
September 4, 2014, 7:20pm

"You won't hear a thing. You'll hear EVERYTHING," said avant garde legend John Cage about his Musicircus events—organized "happenings" where he'd gather as many musicians and artists as he could to simultaneously perform in the same space, then ask audience members to weave in and out of the cacophony. To celebrate what would be the experimental composer's 102nd birthday (he was born September 5th, 1912 and died in 1992), British performance center Aldeburgh Music and digital arts platform The Space have created an interactive online space where visitors can curate and remix their own Musicircus happenings.

Titled An Aldeburgh Musicircus, the project includes video footage from the 67th Aldeburgh Festival this past June, in which 1,000 performers simultaneously across the English coastal town for two hours. Unlike the real life event, though, the online project (developed by Avco) allows users to explore over 40 of the performances—from a man playing bagpipes on a roof, to a group of children playing violin—in one space, effectively offering the chance to traverse space and time with the added kick of a sensory overload.


As intended, navigating a Musicircus can be disorienting and overwhelming—online or IRL. We're not sure if this is how John Cage imagined the legacy of his experimental performance series, but it's certainly more entertaining than scrolling through a collection of silent performances—test it out for yourself here.

h/t FAD


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