I have found that staging “happenings” with teenagers is an extraordinary way to open students’ ears to new forms and concepts of sound. It is very freeing for the students to perform music by John Cage, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Yoko Ono, etc. It inspires important discussions, and yields original works from students that are innovative and moving. A performance we stage annually, called Cage Match, is an opportunity to break free from the rigorous playing requirements of our classical productions and focus more on the equally rigorous demands of expression through sound.
Cage Match Manifesto
Cage Match is a community.
Cage Match is an attitude. It is not measurable beyond experience.
Cage Match is intermedia; the performers like to see what happens when different media intersect. They use found and everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.
Cage Match embraces thoughtful reduction. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief. Within these parameters there is purposeful vastness.
Cage match values both meticulous planning and indeterminacy (leaving things to chance), often both present in the same work.
Cage Match acknowledges that there is poetry in great publicity.
Cage Match is a door to self-exploration and self-actualization.
Cage match dispenses with the fear of judgment. A “just make stuff” attitude breeds quality as often as it does perceived failure.
Cage Match mixes the offensive and the loving.
Cage match believes that art does not harm the open soul.
Cage match seeks to overcome barriers that stand between us and our deepest creativity.
Cage match emboldens the hesitant artist.