Aron Kallay: “Beyond Twelve”
By Lynn Lieu
All over the world, John Cage is celebrated as the man critics hold the most influential composer of the 20th century. Cage is known for his 1952 composition 4’33”. At first, the composition sounds like a mistake, as if Cage had recorded nothing at all. What comes to surface is that Cage hasn’t recorded silence, rather the sounds of the environment heard by audiences during a performance. This one composition shed light on the whole meaning of “musicianship” and the underlying questions about experiencing music. Ten years ago, Cage passed away following years of health issues and ultimately a stroke. This year, the avant-garde composer would have turned 100 years old and there’s no better way to say “happy birthday” and celebrate a man of his caliber than to hold a series of events across the world. From France to Italy and Los Angeles to our backyard in Riverside, John Cage will be remembered. Here, the celebration comes to the Culver Center with Aron Kallay’s “Beyond Twelve.” Kallay commissioned from eight composers new works with two ground rules: (1) Re-tune the keyboard, from extended just intonation to 88 equal-divisions of the octave and everything in between and (2) re-map the keyboard, left can be right, high can be low; pitches need not be linear. What coalesced is not an exhibition of new instruments but a whole concert featuring the works of Isaac Schankler, Brian Shepard, Kyle Glenn, Aaron K. Johnson, Jason Heath, John Schneider, Vera Ivanova and Tom Flaherty.