Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Performing Indeterminacy: An International Conference

Organised by the AHRC-funded project, ‘John Cage and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra, this international conference addresses the performance of indeterminate and experimental musics as its central theme, and is intended as a forum for the exchange of perspectives from musicologists (in the broadest sense), performers, composers, and a wider audience. Including a performance of John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957–58) and the world premiere of Resistance by Christian Wolff performed by Apartment House, the conference comprises papers, practice-based contributions, installations, and musical performances.

By fostering dialogue and debate about the performance of indeterminate music in its many manifestations, we aim to broaden understandings of a music which remains at the margins of performance studies, and to ask challenging questions about where the limits of performance lie.

A provisional programme is available here (last updated 31 May).

The programme includes:

Invited contributions from Catherine Laws (Pianist / University of York), Benjamin Piekut (Cornell University), and Christian Wolff (Composer / Dartmouth College).

A roundtable discussion, ‘Performing Cage’s art works’, with Sam Belinfante (University of Leeds), Laura Kuhn (John Cage Trust), and Jeremy Millar (Royal College of Art).

A special Performance Studies Network sponsored Q&A session with Amanda Bayley (Bath Spa University) and members of Apartment House.

As well as installations, papers, lecture-recitals, and performances, addressing themes including:

  • Critical approaches
  • David Tudor and the Solo for Piano
  • Extending indeterminacy
  • Games and play
  • Openness
  • Politics/democracy
  • Praxis
  • (Re)examining indeterminacy
  • Socialities
  • Technology/Mediation

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