Various Artists

A Chance Operation-The John Cage Tribute

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This collection features works by various luminaries in the international avant-garde performing works by or in memoriam of the iconoclastic composer John Cage. Performances range from David Tudor's electronic explorations to Patrick Moraz's performance of Cage's "Dances for Prepared Piano." The irony will not be lost on fans of Cage's work that a recorded tribute album for a composer who disliked the recorded medium is at best a strange tribute. But that said, considering the uniqueness of the collection -- and indeed the clout of the listed performers -- even the most orthodox of Cage disciples will be pleased with this recording. Each disc of this two-disc set is split up into nearly 100 tracks, making either a special treat or grand annoyance for those with the shuffle-play feature on their CD players. Laurie Anderson is featured reading texts by Cage over her own compositions on several tracks, and these add a fair amount of unity to this sprawling collection. The final work on this recording is entitled "New York City" and is an ambient recording of the environment outside Cage's apartment.

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