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Not Wanting to Say Anything About John (2013) ~ by R. García-Tomás
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Not Wanting to Say Anything About John (2013) ~ by R. García-Tomás

Premiered by the Variable Geometry Ensemble the 21 Febreuary 2013 Not Wanting to Say Anything About John commemorates John Cage's 100th birthday. This multidisciplinary work was inspired in Cage's creation Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel (1969), which is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp and considered to be his first visual art project. Cage's piece comprises two lithographs and a group of eight objects that he called Plexigrams: silk screen printing on Plexiglas panels. Each item consists in eight panels covered with words in different typefaces and pictures. Counting them all, there are sixty-four panels, the number of hexagrams in the I Ching. Cage used chance operations to compose the Plexigrams. As I wished to experiment with elements of chance in this work, I decided to include a collaborator whose function was mainly to provide me with random inputs. As a consequence, I contacted the Catalan illustrator Ainhoa Sarabia, explaining to her that I wished to not only combine her illustrations with music but also to provide them with movement. The goal of 'Not Wanting to Say Anything About John' was to achieve a fluid discourse between image and music having conceived the work's main materials randomly. Cage's Plexigrams were the perfect point of departure to articulate this idea. As Cage used 64 items, chosen and organised randomly, we agreed to use the same number of 'image-sound' units. Each unit consisted of a drawn object associated to a very specific aural material, both created prior knowing how they were going to be organized and distributed along the 8 movements of the work, which we called Pictoglasses. Once the visual objects had been done I created a compendium of sounds for the purpose of having a specific sound for each visual object. As I did not know how the musical materials were going to be combined (the random combination process came after) I felt completely free to create them just following what the images inspired in me. Each one had a characteristic timbre and inner gesture. Some of them were mainly noise, some were pitched and some others were a combination of the two. Another parameter that differentiated the objects was that some were static and others continuous, as is exemplified in 'Musical development: practical examples from Pictoglass I' Once I had the 64 sound objects ready, I proceeded to randomly generate the 8 series that were going to structure and define the materials of each section or Pictoglass. After that, when I got the eight different random series of visual-aural objects, my goal was to compose a 12-minute work combining materials in a rational and discursive way. I wanted to challenge myself to develop the ability of associating disconnected material that had been created without taking into account how it was going to be grouped, nor considering its potential combinations, juxtapositions, variations or relationships to the others. Music and Video: Raquel García-Tomás Illustration: Ainhoa Sarabia

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