In cooperation with the John Cage Trust and publisher C.F. Peters, we have released an app version of Cage's iconic 4'33".
From a review by Andy Cush: An app based on a piece of music that doesn’t have any notes in it. It sounds like a gimmick, or a poorly placed joke about the absurdity of modern art. Get it? The app doesn’t do anything, just like the piece!
On the contrary, 4′ 33″ – John Cage, released in the iOS App Store Friday, is as fitting an homage to the iconoclastic composer as I’ve seen. 4’33″ is often mischaracterized as a silent work, but it is as much about the small incidental sounds that happen during the performance as it is about the lack of sounds coming from the stage. The app recognizes this, and asks you to record and share the sounds of your immediate surroundings – a personal 4’33 performance. Because, as Cage writes “wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise,” no two recordings can ever be the same.
The app uploads performances to JohnCage.org, where you can to listen to others’ recordings from all over the world, geotagged with locations. I’m partial to a frantic, noisy version that was recorded at the Las Vegas airport. You can hear the slot machines!
Our work on the Holy Name University's Kodaly Center's web archive of folk music was highlighted in a recent article by the San Francisco Chronicle. (Available here, the site will also be featured on KQED radio.
The new official arts site for the City of San Francisco, SF/Arts.org has launched. A fully responsive website, designed to be viewed on any browser, phone or tablet, it features powerful interactive event searching, contemporary design and compelling presentation of feature content. It is by far the most comprehensive site of its type in Norther California, and ranks high in organic searches.
Larson Associates built the first version of Holy Names Univerity's web site devoted to the practice of teaching music via the Kodaly Method back in 2004. This site has proved to be enduringly popular, and is one of the few sites from that era that continues to be a major resource to the community even without major updates. We are proud that the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has provided funding for the complete reconstruction and expansion of the site, due to be launched on its tenth anniversary, January 2014.
In conjunction with his one man show at New York's Metropitan Museum, artist James Nares commisioned us to create a new web site that features his work. That site is now live here. The site was built on the open source Mura software.
In his year end summary of Dance Highights for 2012, New York Times Dance Critic Alistair Macaulay wrote "Even though the Merce Cunningham Dance Company closed at the end of 2011, Cunningham’s work stayed in the vanguard this year. The extraordinary application for the iPad, “Merce Cunningham: 65 Years,” new in August and pictorially sensational, is a breakthrough achievement of combining visual and written history." The full story is here.
ArtForum contributor Lynne Cook raves about the triumph of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's final performance at New York's Armory on New Year's 2011, but goes on to write: Though irreparable, the loss of the troupe is partially offset by the unexpectedly rich and inventive ways in which the legendary choreographer’s legacy is being nurtured—not least by the Merce Cunningham Trust, which is supporting the restoration and revival of neglected works in his repertory. A groundbreaking iPad app released this year has also made accessible a wealth of hitherto unavailable archival photographs and videos, rounding out the material in the 2005 book Merce Cunningham: Fifty Years by the company’s veteran archivist, David Vaughan. The full story is here
Also in ArtForum, David Valasco, writing about the incomparable film of the last Cunningham performances and released by Artpix, goes on to write: It all makes a perfect companion to Aperture’s iPad-only release from this summer, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years (a crucial update to the classic Merce Cunningham: 50 Years). A compendium of journal entries, videos, drawings, essays, and photos—all chronicled by Cunningham’s longtime archivist David Vaughan—the App is its own special event, an engaging history/biography/information-bank that really fulfills the promise of “multimedia.” The trove includes (among many great moments) a dusty film clip of a young and buoyant Cunningham dancing with Martha Graham and Eric Hawkins in Graham’s Every Soul Is a Circus, 1940. That Cunningham feels a million miles away from the Cunningham memorialized in Park Avenue Armory Event feels a million miles from the land of no-Cunningham now. Full story available here
Sponsored and authoritatively edited by Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, a fully interactive and searchable database of Cage's complete works is now available at the John Cage Trust's website. This first release features a wealth of detailed musical information, including available recordings data. Additions to the web site are being prepared, including additional recordings information, the contents of Cage's personal library, and a list of artworks. The lastest version is available here.
Based on inspiration and coding from long-time associate Jack Freudenheim, and featuring the design work of Didier Garcia, this app, available in a variety of formats, allows the user to play samples of the actual hardware used by Cage in composing and performing The Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. The resulting recordings can be saved and shared over the web.
Released on Cage's 100th Birthday, the app spent weeks as the number 5 top paid music app worldwide on the iTunes Store. Full information and links to the iTunes and Android stores are available here.
The creation of the Merce Cunningham:65 Years was a multi-year endeavour featuring many key players. At the time of its release last August, the New York Times generously recounted the story at some length. You can read it here.
Larson Associates works with creative organizations that seek to employ technology in innovative and useful ways. We specialize in helping these groups create dynamic and graphically rich web sites and powerful mobile apps powered by sophisticated database engines to realize ambitious programmatic and administrative goals.
Current and recent clients include:
- The John Cage Trust
- The Merce Cunningham Trust
- The Aperture Foundation, New York City
- The City of San Francisco/Grants for the Arts
- Carnegie Hall
- Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco
- Chorus America, Washington, DC
- Nonesuch Records, Warner Music Group