From Wind Repertory Project
John Cage

John Cage

General Info

Year: 1983-1985
Duration: Indeterminate
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edition Peters
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental

Instrumentation (Adaptable Band)

For any solo or combination of voice, flute, oboe, trombone, double bass ad libitum with tape, and obbligato percussionist or any 20 instruments.


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1983, Cage began a composition-in-progress called Ryoanji, named after the rock garden in Kyoto, Japan. This garden is a collection of 15 rocks, placed in a landscape of raked, white sand. In the summer of 1983, Cage started a series of drawings entitled Where R=Ryoanjiusing (by drawing around) 15 different stones. Around the same time, the oboist James Ostryniec asked Cage to write a piece for him, which resulted in the first part in a series of pieces entitled Ryoanji. Between 1983 and 1985, Cage added four more: for voice, flute, double bass, and trombone. In July of 1992, during an interview with Joan Retallack (with cellist Michael Bach present), Cage made sketches for a cello part he never completed. These solos (in any combination or as solos) are always accompanied by a percussion part or a similar 20-member orchestral part.

Each solo is a series of eight songs, with the exception of the part for voice, which has 9. A song is created on two pages, each of which contains two rectangular systems. In each rectangle, Cage traced parts of the perimeters of the given stones. These curves are to be played as glissandi within the given pitch ranges. In some places, contours overlap, thus making materials impossible to play. In these cases, one or more tape recordings are used, with which the soloist plays a duet or trio. The percussion part is a single complex of two unspecified sounds, played in unison, wood and metal. The metres for these materials are twelve, thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen. The twenty musicians of the orchestra independently choose a single sound, which they then use for the entire performance. They should play in "Korean unison", their attacks being close, but not exactly together. These parts are a series of quarter notes (as in the percussion part), which (different for each instrument) are to be played slightly before, slightly after, or more or less on the beat. The soloists represent the stones of the garden, the accompaniment the raked sand.

- Program Note from John Cage website


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works