Day 82

5.02: Good morning. I’m not hungover today, which is refreshing, and means I might get something useful done rather than staring at aggressively the blank page as if it had insulted my mum.

Let’s try and put that behind us shall we, and with it the unspeakable events at Stamford Bridge yesterday. I prefer not to dwell on either.

Let’s kick the week off with some footage of John Cage on a TV game show, shall we? Here he is in 1960 appearing on a programme called “I’ve Got A Secret.”

“I’m going to perform one of my musical compositions,” he whispers coyly to Garry Moore, the suave, suited host.

“Tell me more,” murmurs Moore.

“The instruments I will use are: a water pitcher, an iron pipe, a goose call, a bottle of wine, an electric mixer, a whistle, a sprinkling can, ice cubes, two cymbals, a mechanical fish, a quail call, a rubber duck, a tape recorder, a vase of roses, a seltzer siphon, five radios, a bathtub, and a grand piano.”

Then they skip the game part of the game show, and Moore decides instead to interview John Cage, in his inimitable Saturday teatime style, soliciting answers like a cabaret singer teasing a feather boa round the half-willing neck of an nightclub goer.

Then they cut to the chase and Cage performs Water Walk (so-called, “because it contains water and I walk during its performance”).

“He takes it seriously; I think it’s interesting. If you are amused you may laugh…” twinkles Moore, and off goes the maestro.

And that evening in January 1960, the whole of America sat, their TV dinners on their laps, listening to a live performance of an original composition by John Cage. I can’t even imagine the equivalent of that today: Thomas Pynchon on Total Wipeout? Roy Andersson on Hole in the Wall? Arvo Pärt on Gladiators?

Ah well, as Cage himself said: “We need not destroy the past. It is gone.”

Like last week’s hangovers and yesterday at Stamford Bridge.

6.55: Well, that could have gone a whole lot worse. A couple of hour of alternately typing and Googling pictures of cut open brains: breakfast of champions. Couldn’t have managed that with a hangover.

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~ by David Thorley on April 26, 2010.

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