I created a series of installations and videos for a performance of John Cage’s Musicircus in the Barbican foyer as part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s ‘John Cage Uncaged’ Weekend at the Barbican Centre, London, 17 January, 2004. Directed by Stephen Montague.
John Cage’s piece Musicircus (1967) simply invites the performers to assemble and play together. This version of Musicircus was the largest ever to be staged in Europe at the time with over 345 performers divided into 51 groups performing simultaneously in unexpected spaces through the Barbican foyer, following a timetable put together by chance operations instruction them to start and stop at certain points during the two 45 minute events.
Some of the sonic collisions taking place included Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones playing flashing bass guitar, members of the BBC Symphony Chorus having a dinner party, amplified cacti (kindly lent by Kew Gardens), Oran Marshall playing five tubas connected by 16 feet of tubing, piano Circus, Chinese Erhu player Rzy-Tau Wehand singers disguised as Barbican staff singing information to visitors.
Each of my videos and installations was inspired by a Cage work, including a modified chess game for cacti, saki bottles, soya sauce, rubber ducks and shots of drink.
here are some video stills