In conjunction with Museum District Day, The Menil's Silence exhibition and the centennial of groundbreaking American composer John Cage, Da Camera of Houston presents John Cage's MUSICIRCUS. In this unique sonic experience, singers, instrumentalists and ensembles give simultaneous performances of works by John Cage and others in various locations throughout The Menil Collection.
The sounds of amplified cactus, crumpling paper, spoken word, tin cans, radios and electric guitars coexist with the familiar sounds of piano, violin and drums of all kinds. Works by John Cage include Aria, Third Construction, Forever and Sunsmell, Suite for Toy Piano, Child of Tree, 45 Minutes with Speaker, The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, She is Asleep and various works for prepared piano and percussion. At the midpoint of the event, the entire ensemble will participate in Cage's 4'33", his best known work, in which the performer makes no sound with his or her instrument for four minutes and 33 seconds.
In addition to the works by Cage, the event includes performances of a wide variety of modern and contemporary music and world music. These include John Luther Adams' Strange and Sacred Noise, Henry Cowell's Return, Nathan Davis' A Tale Begun, Morton Feldman's The King of Denmark, traditional Dagara and Shona music from Africa and Doug Falk's Alphabetic Buffoonery Continuum.
Performers include: Meehan/Perkins Percussion Duo; Aura: Moores School of Music Contemporary Ensemble; Baylor Percussion Ensemble; Crumhorn Collective; current and former Da Camera Young Artists; Doug Falk, composer/multi-instrumentalist; Isabelle Ganz, mezzo-soprano; Matt McClung, percussion; CJ Menge, percussion; Allen Otte, percussion; Rice Electronic Music Studio; Rice University Shepherd Schoool of Music Percussion Ensemble; Sam Houston State University; Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Percussion Ensemble; University of Houston Percussion Ensemble; and Chapman Welch, composer and guitar.