Irmela Roelcke Image

Testklang #3

John Cage - Jig for John

Jig for John presents the German premiere recording of the piano version of John Cage’s Sixteen Dances. The recording is based on the new edition of the work by Walter Zimmermann, who identified the handwritten manuscript as an autonomous piece in 2012 in New York and carefully transcribed it over a period of two years. The outstanding recording of pianist Irmela Roelcke was produced in 2013 in Berlin in cooperation with Radio Berlin-Brandenburg. Besides Sixteen Dances it also contains The Seasons, another early piece by John Cage, who, due to a lack of money, was often forced to perform his pieces with his own hands and with nothing but a piano at that time. But, and as these recordings prove, the piano versions that evolved from that context are far more than a provisional solution. In their radical simplicity they provide an authentic insight into a crucial phase of the composer, in which later basic principles such as chance operations or the use of silence were already applied while at the same time the early Cage still shines through the plastic names of the movements in a surprisingly non-abstract way. The title Jig for John (Jig or french Gigue, until today a popular folk dance) describes the concept of the album that traces the early, playful Cage and his relationship to Merce Cunningham. Besides the sound recordings two music videos by Aron Kitzig and Joshua Wicke emerged from two of the movements of 16 Dances investigating the relationship of dance, space and music with choreographer Jai Gonzales as a performer, as well as a documentary film about the participants of the project.

01. - 16. John Cage 16 Dances (1950 - 1951), 50:57
17. - 25. John Cage The Seasons (1947), 14:49

1. Odious Warrior, music video by Aron Kitzig, 04:37
2. Hero's Dance, music video by Joshua Wicke, 03:41
3. Interview with Walter Zimmermann, 18:56
4. Interview with Irmela Roelcke, 04:39
5. Interview with Aron Kitzig and Joshua Wicke, 16:28
6. Documentary film by Marc Eberhardt, 11:46

The physical release is a special CD-DVD edition with music and films in an extensive booklet and design packaging. The digital FLAC download contains the lossless audio. The digital MP3 download contains the audio in a lossy 320kb format.