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John Cage Water Walk - revisited

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Uploaded on Apr 7, 2009

The work of Mr. Cage has been slightly reconstructed in response to an experimental audio assignment.

My construction method, on the surface of course, is obvious: using John Cage's Water Walk as the base (pulled from youtube using the RealPlayer Browser Plugin for FireFox and converted from .rm to .avi using the open-source "alltoavi"). I next opened the avi file in Premiere and began adding audio elements of my own making, such as the sound of the metronome, the duck quack, and the electrical arc sounds. Finally, using Audacity I recorded and used sounds from Nauhaus' "Cross country loop three" from Radio Net - I inserted radio sounds where they would have occur ed had the radios actually been turned on as Cage worked through his instruments on stage. As each radio on stage is pushed to the floor I abruptly cut that radio sound... It should be said that as I recorded the radio sounds I took some liberties as I noticed that by quickly starting and stopping the recorder I could manipulate those sounds to more effectively mimic the sound I was looking for, and yes I do realize that those were not the sounds that would have been coming from the radios on stage, but the fact is that I simply like them and found them to be effective.

My point in doing this in the way that I have is to see what the performance might have sounded like if everything had worked as planned. I do know that Mr. Cage was a great proponent of chance and must have been quite satisfied with the result, but I thought it worth the effort. My decision in choosing the electric arcing sounds had to do with what we are seeing as the blender stalls and then ultimately begins to smoke. I wanted to hear the cacophony that must have been anticipated when the project was originally scored.

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