So Percussion celebrates Cage w/ "Bootleg Series" album and tour


No leading ensemble better embodies the fearless, trailblazing spirit of John Cage than Sō Percussion. In honor of Cage’s centenary year, Sō Percussion is touring a program titled We Are All Going in Different Directions to Cambridge (MA), Toronto, and Austin, culminating in an appearance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Monday, March 26 (7:30 pm), as part of the American Mavericks series. Along with classic Cage scores like Credo in Us, Imaginary Landscape #1, and Third Construction, We Are All Going in Different Directions features original compositions by the group, plus contributions by electronic artists Matmos, Cenk Ergün, and Dan Deacon. Matmos, Ergün, and violist Beth Meyers (janus trio and QQQ) will perform with the quartet. Program details and tour dates follow.

Given Cage’s use of indeterminacy in this program, every concert will be different. Fittingly, Sō Percussion is documenting these tour performances with a specially-packaged, limited-edition album, Cage 100: The Bootleg Series, released Tuesday, March 27 on Cantaloupe. Only 300 copies are being made. Each is numbered and includes a unique, handmade cover; a blank LP (in a nod to Cage’s 4’33”); a I Ching-inspired 64-minute CD sampler, with tracks chosen by chance operations; and a download card giving access to complete shows. Along with the hybrid physical product being created for The Bootleg Series, Cantaloupe will be releasing unique mixes of material from these concerts as iTunes and eMusic Exclusives, also on March 27.

Sō Percussion consists of Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinksi, and Jason Treuting. Speaking for the group, Sliwinski said, “John Cage’s artistic legacy is formidable. His innovations and accomplishments are truly staggering: He wrote some the first electric/acoustic hybrid music, the first significant body of percussion music, the first music for turntables, invented the prepared piano, and had a huge impact in the fields of dance, visual art, theater, and critical theory.

“Somehow Cage’s prolific output seems not to stifle, but rather to spur creativity in others. He certainly deserves surveys, tributes, and concert portraits during the centenary of his birth. But Sō Percussion wanted to do him honor by allowing his work and spirit to infuse our own.

“We have chosen some of our favorite Cage pieces to present on this celebration concert. We believe that although they are historical in fact, each is stunningly present and even prophetic. The pieces are woven in with new music: some by our close friends, and some of our own creation.” The tour for We Are All Going in Different Directions began in Cambridge on February 9, and continues to the following cities:

March 2: The Royal Conservatory, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

March 6 + 7: The McCullough Theatre, University of Texas, Austin

March 26: Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, NYC

In addition, So Percussion will perform Cage’s Third Construction in programs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (Feb. 28), and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin (March 10). For further information, visit


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