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