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Work Title
Reunion
Date
Composed in 1968. Premiered in Toronto, March 5, 1968.
Ensemble Type
Duo
Instrumentation
For two performers playing a game of chess on a specially constructed electronic chess board.
Comments
This work, scored for electronic chess board and electronic equipment activated by a game of chess, was first "played" by Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. The board and ancillary electronic equipment were designed by Lowell Cross. The chess board is available on rental from the John Cage Trust, with mandatory assistance to the borrowing party from Lowell Cross. Reunion is an event with no score. In its first performance, Cage and Duchamp were playing chess on a board prepared by Lowell Cross, while Teeny Duchamp looked on. Gordon Mumma, David Tudor, and David Behrman operated the sound systems. Everyone is instructed to have his or her own sound sources and systems, each connected to the chessboard. The idea of the composition is to bring together many sound systems, each activated by a different composer, as in any coming together of people (i.e. a reunion). The work is a realization of Cage’s 0'00" No.2, a work identical to his Solo for Voice 23 from Song Books. Cage planned to compose another (similar) work entitled 0'00" No.2: Reunion, but never did. The first performance was recorded and released on a 5 inch LP (details can be found in the discography under the Takeyoshi Miyazawa label), accompanied by a photo-book of the performance entitled Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, copyright by John Cage and Shigeko Kubota, the photographer (and, incidentally, partner of Nam June Paik). It was published c.1969 by Takeyoshi Miyazawa in a limited release of 500 copies. More details on this event can be found in a comprehensive article written by Lowell Cross in Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 9 (1999).
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