Pianist Adam Tendler will perform John Cage's Sonatas and Interlude, a set of music for prepared piano. John Cage was an avant-garde music composer who pushed the boundaries of music. In 1952, inspired by the white paintings of Rauschenberg, he composed 4'33", a piece (and its expected duration) where the pianist sits at the keys, opens the lid, and then: silence.
Before doing away with the piano playing altogether, he came up with this idea of "preparing" the piano by inserting nuts and bolts and screws and whatnot in between the strings to alter the sonorities and pitches and in the late forties, he wrote Sonatas and Interludes, a set of 16 pieces and four Interludes for prepared piano. We could attempt to describe it, but just head to YouTube and listen to the funky sonorities, the rhythmic invention and the Erik Satie-like purity of the melodies.
Adam will play the whole thing on Friday evening at 8pm at Old First Church on Sacramento Street.
He kindly answered the following questions for us.