In the last six years of his life John Cage composed his so-called “Number Pieces”. All of these works are given titles made up of numbers, each depending on the number of performers or of the various parts. If there are several compositions with the same number of performers, the numbers of the titles are also given superscripts. For example, “One7” is the seventh piece in a series of compositions for one musician. Cage’s notation of all his number pieces is based on fixed and flexible “time brackets”. The fixed time brackets show exactly when a musician should begin a pitch or tonal event and when it should come to an end. With the flexible brackets, it is left to the interpreter to decide within a predetermined time frame when an instrument enters and when it falls silent.
“One7” holds a special place among the number pieces in several respects. For this work is the only number piece dedicated to a woman composer, Pauline Oliveros (born in 1932). Furthermore, the work is an “extraction” from “Four6”. Last but not least, there also exists a live reference recording of the composer for piano.
For “Four6” the pianist Sabine Liebner chose very distinct tonal characters or ways of playing for each of the four parts: one part plays the piano in the conventional manner, one uses a prepared piano, one plucks strings within the resonant space of the piano, and one produces noise-related sounds. The individual parts thus recorded were then superimposed in time, thus conveying the hearing impression of a live performance with four different musicians.
co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk
One7 for any way of producing sounds (1990), Version for piano
Four6 for any way of producing sounds (1990), Version for piano