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.

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.