online: 15 april 2002

12 April 2002 a moment of satisfaction

16.48 European time, Bremen. A moment of satisfaction, (almost) alone in a concert room where I have been rehearsing and editing the references to John Cage in the internet and everyoneinto a text for this evening's collective performance - a kind of arts circus of simultaneous performances of music, visual arts, video and speaking - by students and by the visiting speakers and musicians. It's called 'A house full of arts' and 'a fest for John Cage'.

Willing and immediate help from people here is enabling me to easily overcome the kinds of (professional ego) conflicts that in my past became stressful problems, insoluble. Today, both alone and with such helpers as these*, everything is flowing and I am pleased... I feel that I am in my element, at last!

Now to rest and eat before the performance - it begins in three hours and lasts for two or three. Luckily much of my piece is silence. It's title is 'and it's so easy - to change one's mind' (John Cage, in conversation, 1988).

Before I changed my mind I was going to read John Cage's LECTURE ON NOTHING.

* particularly Birgid Harte who organised my visit and those of the other visiting speakers, Jörg Brüggemann who operated the video camera, Nils Pennar who operated the video projector, and Jan Meyer-Veden who looked after me throughout my visit. All four of them, with several others whose names I did not note, provided the kind of intelligent and speedy help without which our improvised and unconventional performances would not have been so possible or so enjoyable...

...As I write this footnote I realise that our kind of decentrally-organised performing, in the manner of John Cage, is a model for post-industrial living as it might be, as it can be. But it is possible only if people are free to break rules and conventions and to improvise, with both intelligence and restraint, creating huge spaces for themselves and each other to explore and experience free of pre-judgement and of the imposed conflict of 'divide and rule' and the other limitations of central control...

Letting go of our likes and dislikes
as John Cage so often said and
Listen! Listen! Listen!
Leave plenty of silence...
as Jackson Mac Low put it in 'A Little Sermon on the Performance of Simultaneities' in Stanzas of Iris Lesak, Something Else Press, Milllerton, New York 1972, page 419.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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