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Carmen Pardo: “The influence of John Cage…”(ENG)

2019 March 8

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Date:
2019 March 8

Artículo de Carmen Pardo Salgado:
The Influence of John Cage on Spanish Experimental Music

“[…] The ‘bridge generation’ encompasses José Manuel Beren- guer (b. Barcelona, 1955) and the aforementioned Zavala and Galán. For the second group, born in the 1970s and the 1980s, Barber is the central figure. Montserrat Pala- cios (b. Mexico, 1975), Isaac Diego García (b. Madrid, 1978), and Sonia Megías (b. Almansa, 1982) stand as a representative sample among them. […]”

“[…] Finally, Sonia Megías in her proposals keeps an attitude towards music close to that of Cage, although she acknowledges an insufficient knowledge of his work.34 In 2014, she formed the vocal-performative duo Dúa de Pel with Eva Guillamón (b. Albacete, 1978), and the artists collaborated on El Mono [Monkey] (2011), which was a finalist at the Houston Contemporary Opera Festival. Megías has directed her vocal labora- tory Coro Delantal [Apron Choir] since 2013 in Madrid. It has enabled her to inves- tigate the world of unconventional notations, in which listening, performance, staging, or gesture are combined into plastic materials and not only set down on paper with ink. This passion for notation led to the creation of Ediciones Delantal[Apron Editions] and to working with plastic scores. In this sense, I will emphasise her tactile scores such as Jaula de grillos [Cage of Crickets] (2016). It is inspired by Hidalgo’s Lanas [Wool] (1972), consisting of 100 metres of a coloured strip with bells that the performers, surrounding the audience, unravel while the piece is played (Figure 3).

 

Figure 3. Sonia Megías Conducting Her Coro Delantal. © Javier Valverde.
Figure 3. Sonia Megías Conducting Her Coro Delantal. © Javier Valverde.

Conclusion
From that image of Cage as a cage without bars by Hidalgo, to Megías’s Cage of Crick- ets, the influence of Cage on experimental Spanish music has been felt in plural and unequal ways. No particular school and no particular style have arisen; each of the pro- tagonists has found his or her own way. For the younger generation, and the gener- ations that will follow, we cannot guess if Cage will be, as for Higgins, the one who helps them to be conscious of what they are already doing. For these musicians, Cage is already part of the history of music. […]”

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