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Today in WMH: Audience Make Thy Own Music.


5/14 Today in Weird Music History: 1960.  American composer La Monte Young composes a piece titled 1960 #3.  The entire piece consists of the following instructions:

“Announce to the audience when the piece will begin and end if there is a limit on the duration.  It may be of any duration.  Then announce that everyone may do whatever he wishes for the duration of the composition.”

From Wikipedia:

“His other  Compositions 1960 includes a number of unusual actions. Some of them are un-performable, but each deliberatively examines a certain presupposition about the nature of music and art and carries ideas to an extreme. One instructs: “draw a straight line and follow it.” Another instructs the performer to build a fire. Another states that “this piece is a little whirlpool out in the middle of the ocean.” Another says the performer should release a butterfly into the room. Yet another challenges the performer to push a piano through a wall. Composition 1960 #7 proved especially pertinent to his future endeavors: it consisted of a B, an F#, a perfect fifth, and the instruction: “To be held for a long time.”

Just in case you thought it was only a weird philosophy, there are several YouTube videos of these pieces, including this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHCaBcYabZs


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