In Memoriam of Lou Cohen: John Cage in The Park

OpenSound closed its 2017 concert series with a performance of John Cage’s “Variations III” in Seven Hills Park, in Davis Square.

Since 2005, OpenSound has been a home for Boston-based improvisers, sound artists, dancers, and creative thinkers, as well as for regional, national, and international touring artists. For many years its final concert was a performance of John Cage’s Variations III, curated by the series co-director, Lou Cohen, a student and colleague of Cage and Christian Wolff.

When Lou passed away in 2013, OpenSound organized several events in his memory, including an important concert and memorial including 100 musicians performing Variations III at the Somerville Armory. This event was powerful in bringing together members of Boston’s family, many of whom had since spread throughout the United States, and a wonderful expression of remembrance, support, and creativity.

Society Of Composers (Berklee College) Fall Concert 2016

Society of Composers at Berklee presents their fall semester concert. The concert celebrates and embraces diversity and inclusion at a time when people are becoming more divided than ever.

Compositions span a wide variety of themes and styles, and are performed by Berklee students with additional special guests from the community. All compositions are premieres, composed by Berklee students and recent alumni.

Lineup

  • Yotam Ishay: Three Preludes for Piano
  • Life’s Little Moment: Jacquelyn Hazle
  • Caught up in the Snow: Tina Kayal (composer) and Sarah Chong (piano)
  • When Eyes Meet: Jan Vincent Huntenburg
  • Copley 6:49 – 8 Miniatures: David Lee (arr. w/ Matt Scutchfield)
  • Los Perros: Donovan Sierra, Sarah Chong (piano)
  • On a Rainy Night: Tianyi Zhang (composer/pianist)
  • Last Stage to a New World: Ben Delaney
  • A Year After: Pedro Osuna (Composer), Tania Mesa (Violin I), Lily Lyons (Violin II), Yeh-Van Chen (Sandy) (Viola) and Parker Ousley (Cello)
  • (Bye -) Escapade: Matt Scutchfield (Composer), Paul Meland (Saxophone), Matt Samolis (Flute), Lou Bunk (Viola), Ben Delaney (Violin) and Sarah Chong (Prepared Piano)
  • Concertino: Lou Bunk (composer and conductor) and almost everyone above

Audio recording credits go to: Kenneth Jin.

Grizzles by Lou Cohen

Lou Cohen, born 1937, has composed music since age 11. He studied mathematics at MIT, and has studied music privately. Composition teachers include John Cage, Ernst Levy and Alan Kemler.

He studied harpsichord and early music performance practice with John Gibbons.

Performers:

Dirk Adams, Polly Hanson, Clara Kebabian, Jesse Kenas-Collins, Joshua Jefferson, Andrea Pensado, Melanie Hedlund, Jane Wang, Audrey Chen, Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, flandrew fleisenberg, lou bunk

flunk = flandrew fleisenberg + lou bunk

Gordon Marshall once said:

Marcel Duchamp: funny phony. flandrew fleisenberg: Einstein of drums.

fleisenberg is a player of objects. Drums only fall peripherally into his spectrum, while he is mostly fascinated in coaxing out the inherent material characters of “mundane things”.

These wide manipulations of external implements draw an aural architecture within the performance space as the embodied performer moves within it. Fleisenberg’s movement actions in combination with his material conjuring, creates a discourse inside of a constantly breathing tactile space.

fleisenberg plays percussion on an ever changing assortment of ephemera and modified drum parts coaxing texture and tone both familiar and bizarre. Attentive to room resonance, ambience and collaborator, Fleisenberg playfully utilizes gravity, friction, acoustics and presence to explore space, time, and relationships.

A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) with a focus in conceptual art, he is musically self-taught and has developed a cadre of idiosyncratic techniques that are all his own. Flandrew has been involved in the free improvisation community since 2001 performing solo, in ad-hoc improv groupings, and in set projects in venues small and large across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

A resident of Philadelphia, Flandrew is active as the co-curator of the HOT Series, and the Director of the Impermanent Society.

Lou Bunk (b. 1972) is an American composer and improviser inspired by many forms of avant-garde artistic expression. His sonically rich and intricate music investigates sound and silence through extended instrumental techniques, microtones, amplified found objects, electronics, and generative approaches to texture and form.

In Memoriam: Lou Cohen & John Cage

Seven2 is one of Cage’s late numbers’ pieces scored for bass flute, bass clarinet, bass trombone, unspecified percussion, cello and contrabass.

In the scores for the number pieces, Cage used time bracketed short fragments to create parts which emerge in and out of silence and the overall tapestry of the ensemble.

Variations III, another of John Cage’s brainchilds, was dedicated to the late Lou Cohen who arranged performances of Cage’s Variations pieces for a number of years.

The score consists 42 transparencies with a circle on each, dropped on a sheet of paper. The result derives the number of actions and the number of variables that characterize an action. While some factors should be planned in advance, the performers should leave room for unforeseen eventualities and that any other activities are going on at the same time as the work is performed.

Performers: Deirdre Viau, Tom Plsek, Val Thompson, Daniel Levin, Kevin Dacey, Steve Norton, Michael Rosenstein, Howard Marin, Morgan Evans-Weiler, Jesse Kenas-Collins, Chris Johnson, Walter Wright, Joe Burgio, Seamus Williams, Jane Wang, and Lou Bunk.