August 12, 1992 (Journal entry. Transcription by Nehal El-Hadi, September 4, 2012) John Cage died today at 79. I have somehow been expecting this news, as if it were confirmation that a certain era of progressiveness or revolution was truly now over. Cage, more than any other single figure in the arts, was one to… Continue reading Cage Centenary
(written in March 2010) One sunny late winter evening, I pick up Queen Peace after work. Nattily attired and chipper, she skips just ahead and then whirls around to ask, “Do you want to see my favourite dance?” Of course, I answer. Her skip turns into a side to side stride, her arms swinging wide,… Continue reading Li’l Minimalist
I once asked Madra, then in her late 80s and living in a retirement home, to tell me stories of her early days. She told me, “I’m too tired.” After she passed away, I cherished the short memoir she had written earlier in her life, and I typed it up. It was about nine pages… Continue reading There is no past, only palimpsest
“Sequence, symmetry & simplicity”–my composer’s motto, 1996. 15 years later, inspiration strikes and the same schemes still seem sparkly.
This is as close to a personal musical symbol as I get: c’/f f’/d d’/g g’/c (1994)
He’s my age, maybe a little older. We’re a few feet apart in a tightly packed subway car, 8:45. He’s aged a lot in appearance since the last time I saw him, at the sandbox with our infants. I’m looking at him and it doesn’t seem like he remembers that, nor certainly not the brief… Continue reading My papa talk, your papa talk