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Child of Tree

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 220 E. Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60611 USA (map)

The Frequency Series cocurates an evening of live performances by Chicago-based musicians in response to Child of Tree, a composition by the 20th-century composer John Cage. The program features Alejandro T. Acierto, Andrew Tham, Nick Meryhew, Jenna Lyle, Daniel Wyche, and Sam Scranton.

Cage composed Child of Tree for solo percussion and organic, nontraditional musical objects, such as cacti, seed pods, acorns, or leaves. The process of playing the plant material is determined by the musician performing the work, allowing for improvisation and endless variation. The length of the performance, however, is always the same: eight minutes.

For this program, the participating musicians each assemble their own instruments and objects, per Cage’s instructions, for a series of consecutive performances highlighting Cage’s experimental approach to composition.

The program is presented in association with the MCA’s current Artists in Residence with new music ensemble eighth blackbird. As part of the residency, an interactive installation inspired by Cage’s Child of Tree is on view.

The Frequency Series, developed and programed by Chicago Reader writer Peter Margasak, showcases a vibrant mix of contemporary classical and experimental music.