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The Gary Wilson / John Cage / David Tudor Axis

I’ve long known that Gary Wilson was a freak (of the most beautiful variety). And I’ve long known about his influence on contemporary musicians like Beck, Ariel Pink, The Residents. But until this morning, I didn’t know about his connection with John Cage and David Tudor. From a 2008 interview with Wilson:

I spent a few days in John Cage’s house, as far as that goes. We went over my scores. He corrected what I had done or tried to tell me certain things, like that string players might not interpret this as what you think it is. He’s my hero since I was a kid. David Tudor, too. He used to be the most avant-garde piano player—the most extreme piano music. He would play with Cage a lot. Matter of fact, one of my favorite albums was this thing called Cartridge Music he did with Cage. As a teenager, I remember picturing these two grown men making the most horrendous noise—using contact mics on piano strings, and putting it through the cartridge of a turntable somehow so everything was so distorted. It was very thrilling. The other album that really opened my mind to John Cage was a selection called Concert for a Piano and Orchestra with David Tudor on the piano. You might want to check that one out.

Check it out we shall (although he got the title slightly wrong): [Update: Gary Wilson emailed me to tell me that there is in fact a Concert for a Piano and Orchestra. My mistake!]


And here’s more Wilson, old and new:


About A. D. Jameson

A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.
Read All Posts By A. D. Jameson

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