Recorded on 12/07/1998, uploaded on 01/23/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
1953 Cage formulated ideas for a large-scale set of works which came to be
known as "The
Ten Thousand Things."
This title refers to the symbolism of the number 10,000 in Chinese philosophy,
where it represents the infinite; the number is manifested in Cage's pieces by a total sum of 100
proportions (within 13 parts) multiplied by 100 beats in each proportion. The first six parts were a series of short
pieces for a string player, the first five ultimately became part of the larger
26'1.1499" for a String Player, the last, 59 1/2" for a String-Player, remained
separate. The notation in these works is
graphic, consisting of four wide bands stretching horizontally across the page,
representing the four strings on the instrument. A smaller band below the string bands is
reserved for noises made on the instrument.
Points, lines, and curves are drawn within these bands, and their
relative loudness is indicated in a band at the top of the page. Bowings, place of bowing (bridge,
fingerboard, normal) and material bowed (hair or wood) are indicated. The tempo
is two horizontal centimeters equals the metronome mark given; often an
accelerando or ritardando is in effect.
Several different random methods were used to determine the selection
and placement of all parameters; the result is, understandably, often unidiomatic and extremely challenging
realizations of the piece interpret the use of "noises" to include sounds made with auxiliary
instruments or objects; I have decided to try to make all sounds on the violin
itself, using behind-the-bridge playing, tapping and knocking the body, scroll,
and tuning pegs, bowing the scroll, tailpiece, side of the bridge, and ribs of
the instrument, and blowing into the F-holes.
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