Back to Works Index
Work Title
Sounds of Venice
Composed in 1959. Premiered in Milan, February 12, 1959.
Ensemble Type
Work Length
3 minutes
For various stage properties and tape.
Score for solo television performance, involving a large number of properties and four single-track tapes. This is a score for a solo television performance involving the use of 20 items during performance, as well as playback of 4 single-track tapes, 7 1/2" per second and 3 minutes each. The objects and sounds reflect the city of Venice, including bells of various kinds, boat horns, and a toy that meows like a cat. The score itself consists of a floor plan and three pages of timed events using a notation similar to that used by Cage in Water Walk, but using only linguistic notation, i.e. without pictographic symbols. This work was composed using Cage’s Fontana Mix as means. Together with Water Walk, it was written for and performed on the Italian quiz "Lascia O Raddoppia", where Cage was asked questions (for 5 weeks!) on the subject of mushrooms. At its end, he won the jackpot of roughly $8,000, enabling him to buy a Volkswagen bus for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as well as a grand piano. Cage performed one of his compositions each week, and these included the prepared piano solos from Amores, Water Walk, and Sounds of Venice.
Peters Edition EP 6756
Recordings (click for details)