Review of John.Cage.Guitar. by Aaron Larget-Caplan, Stone Records Ltd, 2018
- A Room
- Three Easy Pieces – I – Round
- Three Easy Pieces – II – Duo
- Three Easy Pieces – III – Infinite Canon
- Chess Pieces
- Six Melodies – I – Melody 1
- Six Melodies – II – Melody 2
- Six Melodies – III – Melody 3
- Six Melodies – IV – Melody 4
- Six Melodies – V – Melody 5
- Six Melodies – VI – Melody 6
- In a Landscape
It’s evening, the end of a busy day. Aaron Larget-Caplan’s record is spinning on my cd player while I write this notes. It’s the third or fourth time that I listen to it, without interruption. I lost the count, I looped it. For the first two plays I remained focused, I listened to all the music in succession, with concentration and attention, then I let the music flow and I started to concentrate my thoughts on what I wanted to write. Bad day today in Italy, wind, rain, high water, while I write bad weather continues to scourge my country, so it’s nice to be at home, in the evening, to write and listen to this music.
Aaron Larget-Caplan did a great job: he made the first complete monograph of music by John Cage for classical guitar. Cage has never written for guitar, we know, but this doesn’t really matter to an experimenter of his level. John Cage was one of the most revolutionary musicians of the twentieth century, whose work has been able to broaden the horizons of contemporary music. His innovative spirit, that has considered music as a sound, a sound that is also silence and noise, has been of unparalleled originality. He didn’t believe in the centrality of a single philosophical culture or current, and his use of indeterminacy and chance led to a wider, global relational dimension, rich in oscillations and contaminations between different cultures. The fact that Aaron Larget-Caplan decided to “enter” the structure of Cage’s music and “convert” it for his classical guitar doesn’t detract from the composer’s vision but interpenetrates his work by giving his creations the opportunity to be examined from other points of view.
I suggest this record to those who have a mainly “noisy” idea of Cage’s music. These compositions, made between 1933 and 1948 show a much more intimate and even melodic soul and can be an excellent introduction to those who want to approach for the first time to his music. Hightly recommended.