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"In October 1962, John Cage and his great interpreter/co-visionary David Tudor visited Japan, performing seven concerts and exposing listeners to new musical worlds. This legendary "John Cage Shock," as it was dubbed by the critic Hidekazu Yoshida, is the source of this series of releases -- three CDs and a "best hits" double LP compilation. Recorded primarily at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo on October 24, 1962 (with two performances from October 17 at Mido-Kaikan in Osaka), all recordings in this series are previously-unreleased. A major historical trove, unearthed. The performances on this tour featured Cage and Tudor with some noteworthy Japanese musicians playing pieces by Cage and a number of other composers. Volume 1 begins with Toru Takemitsu's Corona for Pianists (1962), played by Tudor and Yuji Takahashi, an indeterminate piece scored using transparencies, a sign of Cage's influence on younger Japanese composers of the era. Following this is Duo for Violinist and Pianist (1961) by Christian Wolff, written specifically for David Tudor and violinist Kenji Kobayashi. The final piece, a near-20-minute realization of Variations II (1961), is a rare example of the rougher side of Cage, work that presaged much of the live electronic music and noise of the following decades, an aspect of his oeuvre which is woefully under-represented on CD. Cage and Tudor, using well-amplified contact microphones on a piano, deliver an electrifying performance, alternating distorted stretches of harsh '60s reality with bountiful silences. The John Cage Shock series features truly historical recordings, all previously-unreleased, of compositions by an amazing roster of international composers. The intensity of these has remained hidden and unheard for half a century, but remains undiminished. Features rare photos plus liner notes in Japanese and English with commentary by Toshi Ichiyanagi." "Volume 2 in EM Records' John Cage Shock series lifts off with a fiery example of David Tudor's piano virtuosity, his mastery of dynamics well-evident in a performance of Klavierstücke X (1961) by Karlheinz Stockhausen. The titular shock of this series is delivered even more forcefully with the next piece, John Cage's 26'55.988" for 2 Pianists and a String Player (1961), which was first performed the year before in Darmstadt by Tudor and Kenji Kobayashi, a combination of two of Cage's solo pieces. The performance here, from Osaka, has a slightly altered title and the composition becomes a seismic quartet with the addition of Toshi Ichiyanagi and Yoko Ono, with the four performers providing acutely-angled blasts of sound. Features rare photos plus liner notes in Japanese and English plus commentary by Toshi Ichiyanagi." "The final CD of the John Cage Shock series features John Cage's 0'00" (1962), also referred to as 4'33" No. 2, performed by the composer, with daily activities such as writing and drinking coffee amplified by contact microphones into sonic abstraction, following the score's directions: "with maximum amplification (no feedback), perform a disciplined action." Next is Composition II for 2 Pianos (1960/1961) by Michael von Biel, lovely and sparse, performed by David Tudor and Toshi Ichiyanagi. The disc closes with Ichiyanagi's Piano Music #7 (1961), performed also by Tudor and Ichiyanagi, beds of silence disrupted by pianistic stabs, music box madness, traffic recordings, percussive thumps, tape manipulations and more. Features rare photos plus liner notes in Japanese and English plus commentary by Toshi Ichiyanagi." https://bentcrayonre...1-cd-em-records http://www.honestjons.com/shop.php